THE NHS in Hampshire is proposing to invest up to £900m in hospital services to transform healthcare for people living across the county.

The proposals would see significant investment in refurbishing the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, and a brand-new specialist acute hospital, including urgent and emergency care, on the current Basingstoke hospital site or near Junction 7 of the M3.

As clinicians, we would like to see changes to the way care is provided to maximise the benefit of the investment for people living in Hampshire.

The proposals have been designed with doctors, nurses, midwives, other healthcare professionals and patients. They are based on clinical evidence, best practice, and years of combined clinical experience. We have created them to deliver safe, high-quality services, which are sustainable for the future, with sufficient specialist staff to run services well.

The proposals would see a brand-new hospital for specialist and emergency care, such as strokes, heart attacks, life and limb threatening injuries, and a separate children’s emergency department.

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They would also see significant investment of between £89 million and £141 million in Winchester hospital which would have a new dedicated planned surgery centre, a doctor-led 24/7 urgent treatment centre, same day emergency care services, inpatient beds, and a midwife-led birthing unit.

Real benefits for patients

Some emergency services, such as for strokes, heart attacks, and major accidents, are already only provided from one of our hospital sites.

Bringing together more specialist services for the most seriously ill patients onto one site would mean we are able to bring services in line with best practice and national guidelines.

This means if you are critically unwell, you will be seen by experienced senior doctors and nurses who are experts in their field. This would have significant benefits for patients, both in terms of improvements to their care and their clinical outcomes.

It would also reduce duplication and make the best use of our specialist staff, equipment and other resources. New and refurbished buildings will help us provide modern healthcare, make better use of new technology and reduce our environmental impact.

Having a separate planned surgery centre in Winchester, with dedicated surgical staff for lower risk planned surgery and procedures (which account for around 80 per cent of cases), would also reduce the number that are cancelled at short notice.

Both hospitals would have new urgent treatment centres (UTCs), which would be led by doctors and provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

These would see and treat around 60 per cent of people who currently attend the hospitals’ emergency departments, and because we won’t have to prioritise critically unwell patients, visits to the UTC will be quicker and more efficient with patients seen by experienced clinicians. Only the sickest patients, with the most serious conditions, would go to the new hospital’s emergency department, most often taken by ambulance.

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Same day emergency care services at both hospitals would mean that patients who might otherwise be admitted to hospital can be quickly assessed, diagnosed, and treated without being admitted to a ward, and if clinically safe to do so, will go home the same day.

Our proposals would provide new midwife-led birthing units at both hospitals, and a birthing unit led by obstetricians (doctors who specialise in care during pregnancy, labour, and after birth) at the specialist acute hospital. This would mean we have consultants on site for more hours than we do at the moment, giving people safer care. Care before and after giving birth would still be provided where it is now, with our proposals giving people more choice about how and where they give birth.

Having one neonatal unit, instead of trying to staff two units, would mean we could bring our specialist staff together. It would also mean that the unit would see a high enough number of babies each year to look after those with more serious health problems than we can now. Currently, 100 babies each year have to go to Southampton or Frimley Park hospitals for treatment. Under our proposals, these babies could be looked after closer to their homes and families.

A dedicated children’s service would include a separate children’s emergency department for the first time, giving children and their families an improved experience and better outcomes.

We would also create step-up and step-down hospital beds to care for people who do not need a specialist hospital environment but who need medical, nursing, physiotherapy or other support. This will help people to get back home as soon as possible and free up specialist beds for the most acutely unwell patients.

The proposals would see us create a cancer treatment centre, which would provide chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and supportive care from a multidisciplinary team; and we will continue to provide cancer outpatient services and some chemotherapy locally.

Importantly, most day-to-day hospital visits – for example, clinic appointments, tests, x-rays, scans, and appointments with physiotherapists, occupational therapists or other members of the healthcare team – will continue to be provided at Winchester hospital and at the current Basingstoke hospital site, as well Andover, Alton and other locations close to people’s homes.

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The changes we are proposing mean we would be able to provide higher standards of care more consistently, and reduce waiting times for emergency, urgent and planned care, because bringing specialist services together would speed up diagnosis and treatment.

We’d like to hear what people think of these proposals and are running a public consultation. To find out more, attend an event, or complete our questionnaire, visit The consultation is open until midnight on 17 March 2024.

This is your NHS, please take this opportunity to help shape your local hospital services.

Dr Lara Alloway
Chief Medical Officer
NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board

Dr Nick Ward
Interim Chief Medical Officer
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Dominic Kelly
Consultant Cardiologist
Associate Medical Director, Clinical Strategy
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Matt Nisbet
Board Partner Member for Primary Care
NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board

Dr Charlotte Hutchings
Clinical Director, North and Mid Hampshire
NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board

Miss Avideah Nejad
Consultant Obstetrician specialising in Maternal Fetal Medicine
Clinical Director for Women’s Health Services
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Mrs Andrea Burgess
Ear, Nose, and Throat Consultant
Associate Medical Director, Clinical Strategy
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust