Following a comprehensive site selection process, two locations have been shortlisted as possible sites for a potential new centralised acute hospital to serve the population of north and mid Hampshire.

Work to identify potential sites has been ongoing since October 2019, when the government announced that north and mid Hampshire would be one of the areas to benefit from funding as part of the government’s Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP).

An extensive site selection study was carried out by planning consultants across the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust catchment area, including Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas to identify parcels of land covering an area of 40 to 50 hectares, the amount of space needed to provide a centralised acute hospital and associated facilities to meet the needs of the growing population.

A total of nine sites that fitted these initial requirements were identified. These included sites in Basingstoke, Winchester, Micheldever, Sutton Scotney and Andover.

The nine sites were ranked according to how they performed against a total of 36 weighted site selection criteria. The top five ranked sites were taken forward to the next stage.

The next stage was a land availability investigation undertaken by commercial agents with the owners contacted to establish whether they were willing to sell, how much the land might cost and whether the land could be available in the immediate future.

Based on the conclusions of the land availability investigation, two locations remained as options for a possible new acute centralised hospital:

  • Land near to Junction 7 of the M3
  • The current site of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital

If an acute centralised hospital was to be built at either of these locations, significant investment would also be made at Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

Following a competitive tender exercise, planning and environmental consultancy Stride Treglown were selected to undertake the site selection study.

Stride Treglown were asked to identify potential sites of 40-50 hectares in size to accommodate a new hospital as well as other facilities, such as an ambulance station and car parking.

The other stipulation at this stage was that the land had to be located in the Hampshire Hospitals catchment area.

Stride Treglown identified nine sites as potential options for a possible new hospital

  • Land at Junction 6 of the M3
  • Land near to Junction 7 of the M3
  • The existing site of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital – together with adjoining land that would need to be acquired
  • Land to the west of Basingstoke
  • Land to the north of Winchester
  • Land to the south of Andover
  • Land near Micheldever Station
  • Land near to Bullington Cross
  • Land to the south of Sutton Scotney

The nine sites identified initially were ranked according to how they performed in an evaluation against 36 weighted criteria covering planning, environmental and transport factors

The four lowest ranked sites were discounted following this work, leaving the top five sites to be taken through to the next stage.

Later in the process an issue regarding the availability of the top ranked site – land near to Junction 7 of the M3 – emerged but an alternative location within the same land holding was identified. The top 5 sites were:

  • Land near to Junction 7 of the M3
  • The existing site of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital – together with adjoining land that would need to be acquired
  • Land to the west of Basingstoke
  • Land to the north of Winchester
  • Land to the south of Andover

The land availability investigation examined ownership, owners’ willingness to sell, potential land price and deliverability.

Following a competitive tender process, it was carried out by commercial agents Vail Williams.

Following completion of the study, three of the potential sites were rejected as they would not be available in time for the programme, were potentially too expensive or were not for sale, leaving two options:

  • Land near to Junction 7 of the M3
  • The current site of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital

The alternative location near to Junction 7 of the M3, identified during the land availability investigation, was evaluated against the same 36 weighted site selection criteria and found to score well.

Two locations remain as potential sites for a possible new hospital to serve the area as part of the Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme.

  • Land near to Junction 7 of the M3
  • The current site of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital

At this stage, neither of these have been selected as a preferred site for a centralised acute hospital.

No decisions on location have been made or finalised. We have listened to everyone who submitted possible site suggestions during our public and staff engagement period, which ran from June to the first week of August this year.

The two shortlisted site options will be taken forward to public consultation, which we expect to take place in early 2021.

The programme includes the possibility of the construction of a centralised acute hospital as part of the Government’s Health Infrastructure Plan – with enhancement of the facilities at Winchester hospitals also part of the overall proposal.

People have a range of changing health needs and it is important that we design the future shape of health services to meet those needs. The Hampshire Together programme is focused on exactly that – looking at health and care services across mid and north Hampshire and making sure they are fit for the future.

Our ambition is to make sure most day-to-day health and hospital services are provided locally, but more specialised services that are for the sickest patients, are provided from a centre that covers a wider catchment area. This enables specialist doctors and nurses to retain their expertise by seeing and treating enough patients with the same condition; and ensures we can staff these more specialist services safely. If specialist services work over too small a catchment area, seeing enough patients of the same type can be a challenge.

Part of the work currently underway, and that will be part of our public consultation next year, is to look at exactly how we can design our services to make them safe, high quality and sustainable for the people of mid and north Hampshire for the long term. We will put forward some detailed proposals for achieving this, and won’t make any final decisions on this until after our public consultation.

What we are clear about is that we want to harness the investment from the Government’s Health Infrastructure Plan and update our facilities and buildings for the benefit of everyone across mid and north Hampshire.

Recently, the Prime Minster confirmed the funding for the Hampshire Together Programme. Read the full statement here. The published list states that money is available to build a new hospital to replace Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and carry out a major refurbishment at Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

However, neither the location of any new facility, nor the make-up of services provided there, will be decided ahead of a period of formal public consultation, due to take place in 2021.

The current site of Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital is still being considered as a possible site option for two reasons:

  1. The site size can be extended. Currently, the site is not within the 40-50 hectare criteria. It can, however, be extended by purchasing nearby land.
  2. As the site is in an urban setting it can be developed at a higher density, by building higher than would be the case in a more rural location, the amount of development per hectare would be greater.

Other sites that are smaller than the 40-50 hectares were considered but none had the same development potential.

There would undoubtedly be challenges in building the new hospital as services continue to be provided at the existing hospital. However, existing hospital services could continue whilst building a new hospital on the existing site by temporarily relocating onsite car parking to enable the current car parks to be the site of the new construction. Some existing services could be moved temporarily to allow the building work to take place.

All suggestions for potential site locations during the public engagement process, which took place from June to early August 2020, were considered in detail.

In one case, a suggestion was made for a site that had already been evaluated during the site selection study and taken forward for the longlist of site options. Other suggestions were rejected due to varying factors, such as area, availability and size.