DETAILS of a new hospital for Basingstoke have been revealed, giving the public the chance to consult on three possible options.

As previously reported, plans to build a new hospital for Basingstoke and North Hampshire moved a step closer after the NHS in Hampshire published details on its proposals to invest between £700m and £900m across the county into hospital services.

It plans to launch a 14-public consultation on December 11 and has revealed its preferred option is to build a new hospital on land at Junction 7 of the M3, which would include the relocation of Basingstoke’s emergency department and maternity services, along with centralising some services across Hampshire.

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

Here, we look at the plans in more detail, including the reasons why Basingstoke needs a new hospital and what the changes could mean for you. 

What are the current challenges?

According to NHS Hampshire, our population is growing and getting older, meaning healthcare needs are changing.

Services are currently duplicated across two acute hospital sites – Basingstoke and Winchester – meaning the NHS cannot always consistently deliver great care, because resources – particularly specialist staff – are spread too thinly. It says this is not sustainable.

Many of the hospital buildings are approaching the end of their usable lives. Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), said maintenance of its ageing buildings is expected to cost more in the next 20 years than it will cost to build a brand-new hospital.

“That is not taxpayer money well spent,” she said.

What problems will be addressed?

As part of the plans, the NHS wants to make changes to its buildings as well as how care is organised and delivered.

This includes the creation of a dedicated children’s emergency department at a new acute hospital site in Basingstoke. Currently, children visiting A&E have to wait and be cared for close to adult patients in the emergency department.

The NHS in Hampshire says currently it does not have enough hours of on-site consultant cover in maternity services at Basingstoke and Winchester to “meet best practice guidelines”. It can only provide 60 hours a week on both sites, versus the recommended 98 hours.

It also does not have enough dedicated specialist neonatal doctors available, especially at weekends.

At the moment, many premature or sick babies at Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals are transferred further away to receive care, meaning families have to travel further away from home.

NHS Hampshire has also highlighted issues with planned operations being postponed at short notice because of beds, operating theatres, and staff needed to deal with emergency admissions.

The plans aim to address these issues by centralising more services across Basingstoke and Winchester.

What are the aims of the new hospital plans?

The NHS hopes to improve care for patients and has developed the plans to align with national policy and clinical best practice.

It aims to provide more care out of hospital, closer to home; better join up across health and care services; and provide faster access to urgent care and specialists when needed.

What will this look like?

The plans detail creating one hospital providing specialist and emergency care referred to as the specialist acute hospital.

This would be built at either land near Junction 7 of the M3 or at the current site of Basingstoke hospital in Aldermaston Road.

It will include:

-Emergency department with trauma unit and children’s emergency department

-Specialist emergency and inpatient care, e.g. for strokes and heart attacks as well as other inpatient care

-Emergency and complex planned surgery

-Obstetrician-led maternity care, alongside a midwife-led birthing unit

-Neonatal unit

-Inpatient children’s services

-A cancer treatment centre

-Outpatients, diagnostics and therapies

The plans also include upgrades to the Royal County Hospital in Winchester which would become a dedicated planned surgery centre.

This would include:

-A 24/7 urgent treatment centre with same-day emergency care

-A dedicated planned surgery centre providing low-risk planned operations and procedures

-Step-up and step-down inpatient beds for general medicine and care of the elderly

-A midwife-led birthing unit

-Outpatients, diagnostics and therapies

According to the NHS in Hampshire, separating planned surgery from emergency care will help reduce waiting lists and cancellation.

What will happen to the current Basingstoke hospital?

Some of the buildings at Basingstoke hospital will remain to deliver outpatient appointments and other services such as diagnostics, day-case surgery and therapies. Other parts of the site will be made available for other uses.

If the new hospital is built at the site of the current Basingstoke hospital, it would be located in a car park area, with a new multi-storey car park built elsewhere.