BASINGSTOKE will not be used as a pilot site in the Government’s New Hospital Programme. 

As previously reported, Basingstoke MP Maria Miller called for Basingstoke hospital to be used as a ‘pilot site’ for the programme and for it to be built earlier than 2032.

READ MORE: Basingstoke MP calls for 'early delivery' of new hospital

However, the Government has now confirmed that a pilot site will be one of the hospitals with reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) which were added to the programme last year.

The Government was responding to concerns raised by its Public Accounts Committee about the New Hospital Programme (NHP), including that the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) must “quickly complete and test its standardised hospital design to avert further delays to hospital construction, and to reduce the current high risk of cost and quality issues in years to come”.

The committee recommended that DHSC starts construction this year “of at least one early scheme that uses its standardised hospital design”.

SEE ALSO: Basingstoke Gazette launches campaign to 'Build Our Hospital' 

The Government agreed that the NHP should test its new hospital standardised design and said it intends to do so “at the earliest opportunity with one of the RAAC schemes” but said this was unlikely to start in 2024.

Dame Maria said: ‘’I welcome the response to the Public Affairs Committee report re-confirming the Government commitment to every hospital on the New Hospitals programme, which includes the brand-new hospital for Basingstoke. The report specifically says that ‘the government remains committed to all schemes in the NHP (New Hospital Programme), including those expected to complete after 2030', consistent with the Government's national announcement in May last year, and the NHS letter this month confirming funding for Basingstoke’s new hospital. 

‘’The Government’s response highlights the importance of programme costs being realistic and deliverable, which is important for Basingstoke because proper, robust cost control by the NHS from the start means that taxpayers will receive value for money, that delays are minimised and there is sufficient funding for all of the much needed hospitals. 

‘’Unlike other new hospitals, we have moved to public consultation, because the NHS has confidence funding will be available for the plans in Basingstoke. So right now the priority is getting as many people as possible involved in the consultation to ensure our plan is the best it can be and I urge everyone to take part now before the consultation closes on 17 March.’’

The news comes after the Gazette launched a campaign calling for commitment from the Government to 'Build Our Hospital', after the project was one of eight to be delayed until 2032 and doubts have been raised about funding.