BASINGSTOKE MP Maria Miller has written to the Health Secretary and the Chancellor calling for the building of the town’s new hospital to be brought forward.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) is part of the Government’s £20bn New Hospital Programme (NHP) but was one of eight sites delayed with a new hospital not delivered until the 2030s.

HHFT has been told it will receive between £700m and £900m to build a new hospital. However, NHP programme leaders in the Government are yet to approve the national business case, meaning funding allocations from 2025 and 2026 onwards have not yet been approved.

READ MORE: All the latest news on The Gazette's Build Our Hospital campaign

Basingstoke Gazette: Maria Miller at Basingstoke hospitalDame Maria is now calling for earlier delivery of the scheme, after Hampshire Together – the team behind the project – completed a public consultation on its plans for the new hospital in Basingstoke. 

She said: “It is no secret that many of the buildings at our current hospital are approaching the end of their usable lives, which is unsurprising given 80 per cent of the buildings were created between 1965 and 1974.

“The Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is ranked the worst in the southern region for critical estate maintenance backlog, currently at £178m and rising by 11 per cent every year.

"Estimates suggest it will cost £625m to keep our hospitals functioning for the next 15 years. To compound matters, rather than being redirected to patching up our hospital, this money would be far better spent on patients’ care and hospital equipment.”

The Government initially promised that 40 new hospitals would be built across the country by 2030, but has failed to deliver on that promise with several schemes delayed including HHFT.

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Dame Maria said quicker delivery of the new hospital will reduce expenditure on repairs and create ‘cash releasing’ benefits such as reducing energy use and improving staff retention.

She added: “On top of this, the new hospital will adopt a more up-to-date and functional layout, allowing more productive ways of working. Cumulatively, these benefits are expected to release £81m per year.

‘’Basingstoke finds itself in the teeth of a unique set of circumstances. Our population has grown enormously; 60 per cent since our current hospital was built in 1974.

"However, our population growth has been particularly pronounced among over 65-year-olds, the number of whom has ballooned by 77 per cent between 2011 and 2021 making Basingstoke the 27th most rapidly aging community in the country.

“We know that an 85-year-old man requires on average seven times more NHS care than a man in his late 30s. This additional demand is yet more evidence for why our hospital must be delivered ahead of the 2032 date.’’

Dame Maria is pushing for the new hospital to be built on land at Junction 7 of the M3, rather than at the current site of Basingstoke hospital.

Hampshire Together is yet to decide on the location but has said its preferred location is the land at Junction 7.

Dame Maria, who visited Basingstoke hospital, said: “It was clear from my visit to Basingstoke A&E that by having a centralised emergency department with all the resources in one location at the new hospital site, the hospital will be able to treat patients with the most life-threatening injuries much quicker, saving more lives and providing the best possible care to patients.

“While Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust is yet to make a decision on the exact location of the new hospital following the public consultation, clinicians continue to argue that the proposed Junction 7 site will save more lives, given its proximity to major roads and that the new hospital can be built without affecting the services of the current Hospital site, which will ultimately cause less disturbance to patients.

“I would like to thank staff at Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust for all the work they are doing, particularly on the plans for our new hospital.”

Hampshire Together is expected to release the outcome of its public consultation in the summer and reveal the location of the new hospital.