The trust which runs Basingstoke hospital has confirmed the expansion of its cardiology services with the construction of two new cardiac catheterisation labs.

The two new cath labs, which can look into arteries and chambers in the heart and treat abnormalities, are currently under construction by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), and will be fully operational in October 2022. Construction started last month, the trust said.

It comes after a report last year said Basingstoke hospital may not be able to provide a service for patients with heart conditions, because its cath labs were at 'risk of failure'.

It had prompted a "emergency capital funds" to be requested. The Gazette has asked HHFT how much the project will cost.

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.

Reacting to the news, Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at HHFT, which also runs Andover and Winchester hospitals, said: “This is a very exciting development for the trust. Having two new cardiac catheterisation labs will support our staff to keep providing outstanding care to those who need us.”

The new labs will replace the current lab, in Basingstoke hospital's Sherborne building, and a temporary facility located on the site.

Malcolm Ace, chief financial officer at HHFT, added: “As the population grows and the demand for our services continues to increase, we need to develop further in order to keep providing efficient and sustainable health services. This expansion of our cardiology services will allow us to meet current and future demand, so it will certainly make a difference to everyone. A huge thank you to all involved in making this project a reality.”

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

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.

Charles Pierce, managing director of Darwin Group, the main contractor, said: "As specialists in healthcare projects, we're delighted to be working with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The modular build will provide additional testing space and extra patient accommodation to those who need it most."