Residents have probed Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) over their plans to build a new hospital from 2024.

Around 40 residents were present on the community Zoom call last night to discuss how the Trust will cater for the region's needs and requirements with the new hospital.

Resident, Arun, asked how the Trust plan on catering for the diversity of the population.

The chief medical officer for Hampshire Hospitas, Dr Lara Alloway said: "Covid has bought a real focus on equality, care and access and a focus on meeting everyone's needs.

"We do have all the specialist services and we have not historically had a significantly diverse population but we want to meet everyones needs".

Resident, Eileen, asked whether there is a plan for mental health services.

Dr Alloway said: "Community mental health support is under a lot of pressure coming out of Covid period.

"We are working really closely with them moving forward and historically we have been very separate from physical health hospitals and clinics.

"We know people need access to both at the same time and a lot can be done in the community."

Resident, Phillip, asked about the position of the new cancer treatment centre.

"The cancer treatment centre was part of the project developed from 2012 onwards.

"It is still our vision as part of this project. We are really excited and it does seem like it will happen and the Ark Cancer Centre Charity is still raising money for this.

"It is a real opportunity for this to move on," Dr Alloway answered.

Someone else enquired about the Trust's plans for emergency care.

An emergency department consultant, Dr James Kerr, said: "The emergency care is changing and has had to change hugely with Covid but one of the projects that is ongoing in the region is booking people appointments when they don't need emergency care.

Giving people a timed appointment over the phone to turn up enables us to manage our waiting room, which will stop it overflowing, and wait in the comfort of their own home when it is safe to do so.

"The use of digital technology is really innovative and could be really good for our patient population."

A spokesman for Hampshire Hospitals said no location had been set in stone yet and would be informed by public opinion.

The spokesman said: "Apart from the fact that there will be a new hospital, we have a completely blank sheet of paper at the moment, so there is no location yet determined for the new build.

"The feedback we receive, both from events like the one on Thursday, and through the online comment form, will be fed into an engagement report, which will be taken into consideration when decisions on things like the location of the hospital are made later in the process. That’s why it’s so important that people give us their views, which they can do by or attending one of the online sessions."