BASINGSTOKE Hospital is getting a new Cath Labs unit after a study by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) found that the existing cardiac catheter lab is at 'risk of failure'.

A Cath Lab is an examination room or clinic with diagnostic imaging equipment used to look at the arteries of the heart and the chambers of the heart, and to treat any stenosis or abnormalities found.

The new unit will have a link corridor to the Sherborne Building, according to a public notice published by the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

The HHFT will construct a new ambulance deck with canopy, access roads, new hard and soft landscapes and install new lights and CCTVs along with the new unit.

As part of the plan, the existing car parking arrangements will be amended, while there will also be demolition and temporary works at the hospital in Aldermaston Road in Basingstoke.

It was revealed in June 2020 that Basingstoke hospital may not be able to provide a service for patients with heart conditions, because its cardiac catheter lab was at 'risk of failure'.

A report to the HHFT Board of Directors detailed various risks across its three hospitals, with the Cath Lab failure being one of them.

The report said: “If the Cath Lab fails then we will not be able to provide a cardiac cath lab service for our population.

The cath lab requires significant capital spend which has not yet been identified, although emergency capital funds have been requested.”

However, it is understood that the HHFT has now budgeted the required capital fund to build a new Cath Lab at the Basingstoke Hospital.

The new development comes amidst the plan to build a new hospital in Basingstoke as part of the £3.7-billion government funding package.

Prime minister Boris Johnson had confirmed in October 2020 that Basingstoke will get a new hospital within the next decade.

The HHFT has indicated that it hopes work will begin on the new hospital in 2024/2025, with a view to it opening between 2026 and 2030.

There has been much speculation and secrecy over where the new hospital will be built, with HHFT initially saying the locations it was considering were “commercially sensitive”.

The trust then revealed two locations which had been shortlisted further – the first between Basingstoke and Winchester, near to junction seven of the M3, and the other based on the current site of Basingstoke hospital, in Aldermaston Road.

However, the trust’s chief medical officer has previously hinted that Basingstoke hospital is unlikely to be re-built using the funds, because there is no space for it to expand.