PLANS to build a new hospital for the borough remain “on course” according to those in charges of the project, despite being a year behind its scheduled timeline.

It was announced in 2020 that Basingstoke would get a new hospital as part of a £3.7 billion government funding package.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (HHFT) said last year that it is hoped the new hospital will be built by 2028.

A published timeline said that a “summary of our findings” would be released before Christmas 2020, after which a formal public consultation on a number of options would be held from January to March, 2021.

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It said: “This will include a preferred way forward which we think is the best of them. After this process has been concluded and fully assessed we will announce our decision as soon as possible.”

However, a year later and the public consultation on the preferred way forward has still not taken place.

In May last year, a joint statement from HHFT and Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning group, said it was agreed following discussions with national and regional NHS colleagues that plans for a new hospital “will be even stronger if we can incorporate newly available national planning information and recent learnings from others around the country”.

It added: “We have therefore decided to do some more detailed planning work before taking our plans out to public consultation.”

A revised timeline has not yet been published.

When HHFT was asked for an update on the project, a spokesperson for the Hampshire Together: Modernising our hospitals and health service (MoHHS) programme, 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 phase two (2025 to 2030) of the national programme.

“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.”

Questions were raised in August 2021 as to whether Basingstoke will be given a new hospital, as promised, after government information was leaked which put plans in doubt, suggesting that some of the 48 new hospitals could instead be major refurbishments of existing NHS buildings.

It is still not known if Basingstoke hospital is set to be refurbished or whether the town will be given a new hospital.

So far, two locations have been shortlisted for a ‘new hospital’ – the current site of Basingstoke hospital, and land off Junction 7 of the M3.

HHFT previously declined to comment on the leaked information and whether this could mean Basingstoke hospital will be refurbished rather than replaced.

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