Councillors concerned about plans for new emergency hospital

Basingstoke Gazette: A new critical hospital could be built on the current site of Basingstoke hospital A new critical hospital could be built on the current site of Basingstoke hospital

A GROUP of councillors tasked with looking at proposals for a new emergency hospital to serve the people of Basingstoke, north and mid-Hampshire said they have “a number of concerns” about the plans.

As previously reported, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover hospitals, is working with local Clinical Commissioning Groups on plans to create a new critical treatment hospital.

As reported in last week’s Gazette, the new hospital, which could cost around £70million, will be based either on the Basingstoke site or on a patch of land between the A303, A34 and the M3.

But there are fears the creation of the new hospital will lead to the removal of specialist staff from Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals, and the downgrading of accident and emergency and maternity units.

Regardless of where the proposed hospital is built, it will treat the most serious cases and will also be the site for consultant-led maternity care.

A report on the plans was considered by members of Hampshire County Council’s health and overview scrutiny committee on Tuesday.

Dr Nigel Sylvester, vice clinical chair of West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, told the meeting that 80 per cent of care would remain at Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals, but creating a new centre to treat the most critical cases was vital.

He said: “It will be manned by staff from Winchester and Basingstoke but this does not mean that we leave these hospitals bereft.

“Specialist staff will still be available to offer advice, but critical care will be located in the treatment centre.”

The committee heard that pregnant women classed as high-risk – first-time mums or those with complications during pregnancy – would be encouraged to give birth at the new hospital.

Councillor Fiona Mather raised concerns about those women not classed as high-risk who go into labour at their nearest hospital but then suffer complications and need to be transferred to the new centre.

Dr Sylvester said those involved in the plans need to look at ways of reducing this risk, as they currently do with those mums-to-be who choose a home birth.

Cllr Mather said she found it “hard to believe” his assertion that this would only affect a “very small” proportion of women, saying: “one disaster is too many.”

Cllr Martin Tod said the hospital trust needed to be clearer about its plans. He added: “You talk of having an exciting vision for Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals, but it is not clear what that vision is.”

Cllr Pat West, chair of the committee, told speakers for the trust and the CCGs that councillors had a “number of concerns” about the plans.

The committee members said they wanted finer details about the proposals, and asked for an update after a formal public consultation process, which will begin in February.

l Do you have a view, or concerns, about the plans for the new hospital? Have your say by writing to The Letters Editor, The Gazette, Pelton Road, Basingstoke, RG21 6YD, email editor@basingstokegazette.co.uk, or comment online at basingstokegazette.co.uk/news.

Comments (3)

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11:22am Tue 4 Feb 14

jonone says...

Hmmm, whose word would I take note of - an experienced medical professional, or some councillors....?
Hmmm, whose word would I take note of - an experienced medical professional, or some councillors....? jonone
  • Score: -8

4:01pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Sam_Walker123456 says...

jonone wrote:
Hmmm, whose word would I take note of - an experienced medical professional, or some councillors....?
The councillors have been appointed to look at the proposals. If they are not convinced then by them they are right to send the Trust away to put more meat on the bones of their proposals. This project 'could cost £70m', but will probably escalate to +£100m before completion, so I for one want to know that the plans have been fully and rigorously scrutinised before they are approved.
Looking at it another way, the medical profession could easily get carried away by the prospect of a gleaming, fully equipped, new facility and may be exaggerating their claims for the benefits.
[quote][p][bold]jonone[/bold] wrote: Hmmm, whose word would I take note of - an experienced medical professional, or some councillors....?[/p][/quote]The councillors have been appointed to look at the proposals. If they are not convinced then by them they are right to send the Trust away to put more meat on the bones of their proposals. This project 'could cost £70m', but will probably escalate to +£100m before completion, so I for one want to know that the plans have been fully and rigorously scrutinised before they are approved. Looking at it another way, the medical profession could easily get carried away by the prospect of a gleaming, fully equipped, new facility and may be exaggerating their claims for the benefits. Sam_Walker123456
  • Score: 13

5:49pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Elena Ellie says...

Dr Nigel Sylvester is quoted as saying “Specialist staff will still be available to offer advice, but critical care will be located in the treatment centre.”

Does this mean that specialist staff will not be sited at the main Basingstoke Hospital and only available on an advisory capacity? If so, this is a very worrying prospect.
Dr Nigel Sylvester is quoted as saying “Specialist staff will still be available to offer advice, but critical care will be located in the treatment centre.” Does this mean that specialist staff will not be sited at the main Basingstoke Hospital and only available on an advisory capacity? If so, this is a very worrying prospect. Elena Ellie
  • Score: 0

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