Regarding the recent article from Maria Miller about the new £900m hospital in Basingstoke I would add the following comments.

A public consultation has been promised, yet again, with no sign of it actually happening. I would have thought the current Basingstoke hospital administration would have a better understanding of what is actually needed than the general public and their recommendation should be made public instead.

A great amount of effort in teaching, research and a bespoke science park and medical training seems to be included in the proposal. All very laudable, but no mention of the number of hip replacements, cataract operations, maternity places, or A&E and outpatient facilities with their associated performance and target statistics. These facilities are of more importance to the actual community than the wider benefit derived from general research which takes a long time to mature into usable processes.

If the research and design (R&D) costs and facilities are incorporated into the £900m for Basingstoke, that means that less money is available within the “ring” for actual patient treatment and part of Basingstoke’s promised investment will be used to subsidize what should be national R&D costs.

It could also be viewed that this R&D is ringfenced within Basingstoke's promised new hospital so that it does not have to be included in some other “ringfence” thus keeping it hidden. Discussions on what R&D should be included in the Basingstoke money and what should be left out will inevitably delay the final decision.

Poor old Basingstoke will have to wait longer and longer for their hips and knees and cataracts, maternity, and outpatient facilities.

Can we not just build a hospital or even a health care hub, to treat what is wrong with us in Basingstoke and build it now?

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