RESIDENTS finally got the chance to have their say about plans to build a new hospital in Basingstoke, with concerns being raised about travel to the preferred site. 

In November, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust published details on its proposals to invest between £700m and £900m across the county into hospital services.

Those behind the project revealed their 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.

In December, NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board launched a consultation, calling on patients, carers, staff, local communities and health and care partners to have their say. 

READ MORE: NHS in Hampshire launch consultation on proposals for new hospital

A consultation event was held at Basingstoke hospital on Monday, January 16 where residents and NHS staff past and present got to air their views.

During the event attendees were given a presentation by several speakers including the chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Alex Whitfield, Dr Lara Alloway - chief medical officer (CMO) for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, interim chief medical officer Nick Ward and Shirlene Oh, chief strategy population health officer.

Basingstoke Gazette: The speakers at the event

The options were discussed in detail including building a new hospital at the current site of Basingstoke hospital, in Aldermaston Road (option 1). However, this option would cost £948m, compared to £807m for the ‘preferred’ option 2 to build a hospital at Junction 7 of the M3.

A third option has also been presented, which is identical to option 2 other than having nurse-led rehabilitation beds at the current Basingstoke hospital site. This would cost £860m.

Basingstoke Gazette: The three options

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The event was told that option 2 has been chosen as the preferred way forward because it would be easier to build at Junction 7 and it would place specialist and emergency care more centrally between Basingstoke and Winchester, without requiring the nursing workforce to be split across an additional site.

All three options would include refurbishment at Winchester hospital.

Basingstoke resident Jenny Dyke spoke to the Gazette after the meeting. She said: "I am all for the Junction 7 option and I think it is a good idea but I do have some concerns about it.

"If we lose Basingstoke hospital I don't know what this would mean for [the current] Basingstoke hospital. It is all very well saying we will run a day surgery but what happens if those patients need to stay. A day surgery is never just a day surgery."

She said she thinks if the hospital was built at Junction 7 "people would just deal" with having to travel.

During the presentation Alex Whitfield discussed traveling to the new hospital from Basingstoke, she said: "If we look at options 2 and 3 it would take slightly longer to get you to Junction 7 of the M3.

"What we know, in looking at all the people who live across all of our patch, is that all three options are safe options that get you to the hospital you need to be, in the time that you need to get there, to receive the treatment that you need."

Despite this Marilyn and Bill Rowe, who live in Kings Furlong, told the Gazette they are worried about the travelling that would come with building a new hospital further away from the town centre. 

Bill said: "We only live seven minutes away from the Basingstoke hospital at the moment so we are really worried about the transport and how long it would take to get to Junction 7 or Winchester.

Basingstoke Gazette: Marilyn and Bill Rowe

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"Having talked about a lot about a new hospital in Basingstoke, there is a lot of talk about Winchester. A lot of money is going to be spent and it's not all on Basingstoke."

They also said it would be confusing to have services at different hospitals, Bill added: "As a Basingstoke resident I would like see hospital services stay in Basingstoke."

At the event Ms Whitfield added: "What an amazing place we find ourselves in. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform health and care for all the population within north Hampshire.

"One of the things people are saying is 'can't you just improve what you have got today?', we could but in 2040, 2050 and 2060 people won't thanks us for replicating a 1970s health service in a slightly shinier building. We are trying to take the opportunity to actually design healthcare and how it will operate into the future."

It is hoped the new hospital will open in 2032.

Further online and in-person events will take place until the consultation closes on Sunday, March 17. 

Visit for the consultation document and more information about how to get involved.