THE trust which runs Basingstoke hospital said it is “on course” to deliver a new hospital in the latter half of the decade.

Questions were raised last month as to whether Basingstoke will be given a new hospital, as promised, after government information was leaked which put plans in doubt.

The document leaked to the Health Service Journal was sent to NHS trusts ordering them to describe newly built units and major refurbishments of existing NHS buildings as “new hospitals”.

It has raised questions over how many of the 48 new hospital projects funded with £3.7b from the government, including Basingstoke, will be completely new hospitals, rather than rebuilds or the construction of new departments on existing sites.

This is particularly relevant for Basingstoke, because one of the two shortlisted locations for a ‘new hospital’ is the current site of Basingstoke hospital, in Aldermaston Road.

Hampshire Together, set up to deliver the project, details on its website plans to keep existing hospital services running if a ‘new hospital’ were built at the current site.

It states: “There would undoubtedly be challenges in building the new hospital as services continue to be provided at the existing hospital. However, existing hospital services could continue whilst building a new hospital on the existing site by temporarily relocating onsite car parking to enable the current car parks to be the site of the new construction.

“Some existing services could be moved temporarily to allow the building work to take place.”

Basingstoke MP Maria Miller previously promised the town would be given a new hospital, telling the Gazette last year that it was “firmly on the government’s list for a new hospital”.

However, when asked to comment on the recent news regarding the leaked information, and whether this could mean Basingstoke hospital will instead be refurbished rather than replaced, she failed to respond.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) which runs Basingstoke hospital, also declined to comment.

Asked when the public would be consulted on the two shortlisted locations – the current hospital site and land off Junction 7 of the M3 - the trust said: “We are continuing to work with national colleagues to develop plans for a new hospital for Hampshire and remain on course to deliver as part of the national programme in the latter half of the decade (2025 to 2030).

“We are currently undertaking extensive clinical and operational work to ensure that the options we ultimately consult on are the very best they can be taking full advantage of learnings from the first wave of new hospitals as well as delivering value for money. Once this work is completed, we will take our proposals out for public consultation at the earliest opportunity.”

The trust initially said a public consultation would be held in January this year.