PLANS for a £150million new hospital near Basingstoke, which will treat tens of thousands of critically-ill patients each year, have moved a step closer.

As previously reported by The Gazette, Mary Edwards – chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) – revealed last month that the new Critical Treatment Hospital (CTH) is set to be built alongside a new £18.5m cancer treatment centre, on land at North Waltham near junction 7 of the M3.

HHFT – which also runs hospitals in Andover and Winchester – has now submitted an application to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for a “scoping opinion” for the proposed CTH planned for land west of Ganderdown Copse, off the A30.

The trust is planning to submit a full planning application in March. If approved, building work on the CTH should begin in 2016 and it would open by the end of 2018.

As part of the plans, the CTH, cancer treatment centre, central pathology laboratory, ambulance station, energy centre and a helicopter landing pad would be built if the plans are approved.

In addition, 866 car parking spaces are proposed for staff and members of the public at the site.

The application says: “As part of this work, the trust is proposing to centralise services for the most critically-ill and highest risk patients in a new Critical Treatment Hospital that would have consultants on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This would change the location of services provided to care for those with heart attacks, strokes or those who have suffered life-threatening injuries in a serious road accident, for example.”

It adds: “The new hospital would provide care for all children across north and central Hampshire who are ill enough to need an overnight hospital stay.

“The Critical Treatment Hos-pital would also have a centralised obstetric labour unit and midwifery-led birthing centre alongside it.

“The ward would provide care for mothers who need, or choose, to have specialist medical care in labour, and the centre would provide for women who would like the reassurance of specialist medical care on site.”