WORK is underway to renovate Basingstoke's hospital ahead of the annual extra pressures caused in the winter.

Building work has begun at Basingstoke hospital with space being created for additional rapid assessment and treatment areas.

These new areas have the aim of ensuring that all patients coming into the emergency departments are cared for in the right environment for their needs sooner, as well as providing a more modern working environment.

A paediatric assessment units is also being created.

Work is also being done at the emergency department at the Hampshire Hospitals-run Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester,

These changes have been made possible thanks to Hampshire Hospitals getting £4million in funding from the Department of Health and Social Care to help ease winter pressures.

The funding comes with an agreement that work will be completed by Christmas Eve.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, said: “We are incredibly excited about the improvements that are taking place to make sure we can provide the best possible care to our patients in our emergency departments.

“Changing the layouts of emergency departments will help us provide a better environment and better care, making sure that patients remain at the heart of everything we do.

“All of our staff and patients have been very understanding as there has been some inevitable disruption while these works take place.

"I want to say a huge thank you to everyone whilst this important work continues.

" apologise for any inconvenience caused to our patients whilst the renovations take place.”

The trust is recruiting more senior nurses and healthcare support workers to care for patients and has also appointed Claire Horsfield in a new role as head of unscheduled care.

She will oversee the emergency departments, acute assessment units and ambulatory care units in Basingstoke and Winchester, as well as the minor injuries unit at Andover hospital.

Claire said: “This is a really exciting time to join Hampshire Hospitals.

"I am looking forward to working with the incredible staff within the trust to care for our patients and continue to improve the way we work following the changes to our departments.”