HEALTH chiefs behind a new hospital for Basingstoke and North Hampshire have confirmed a start date for the beginning of the public consultation.

As previously reported, NHS in Hampshire has published details on its proposals to invest between £700m and £900m across the county into hospital services, with plans to launch a 14-week public consultation in December.

Those behind the project have now revealed their preferred option is to build a new hospital on land at Junction 7 of the M3, which would include relocating Basingstoke’s emergency department and maternity services, along with centralising some services across Hampshire.

FOR CONTEXT: Progress on new hospital as preferred option is revealed relocating A&E and maternity

It has now been announced that the public consultation for the new hospital will begin on Monday, December 11 and run until Sunday, March 17, 2024, after which the Integrated Care Board (ICB) will publish their decision at the beginning of the summer in 2024. 

Basingstoke MP Maria Miller said: "The announcement that the public consultation will begin on Monday, December 11 is brilliant news and shows that the Integrated Care Board and the hospital trust are making significant progress.

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"The consultation will ask for the public’s opinions on three options for the location of the new hospital. First on whether to build it on the current site, second to move it wholesale to a new site near Junction 7, or finally to move to a new site whilst still maintaining certain services in the current location.

"As well as the location, there are still a number of questions to be answered, especially around what public transport routes would be established to the Junction 7 site and how services can be configured to be clinically led and as convenient as possible for local residents.

"A concrete timeline is now in place and I urge all residents to have their say. As many will be aware, £900m has been ringfenced for this project, making it the largest infrastructure investment in our history and it is paramount we get the plans right."