‘Once in a generation’ opportunity to improve NHS care in Hampshire as up to £900m to be invested

Published: January 24 2024

At the tail end of last year more details were announced by about the investment of up to £900 million in the NHS across Hampshire.

Basingstoke is to get a new hospital and a new surgical centre is being planned for Winchester. The plan is to divide services, with only emergency and complex care in Basingstoke, and only planned surgery in Winchester. This means Winchester A&E will close.

It has been hailed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve care across the county, with many with many hospital administrators extolling the benefits, and outlining that change has to happen.

However, naturally there has been pushback from Winchester and Test Valley stakeholders, who are concerned about emergency services moving 20 miles away.

Further, the location of the funds to finance this new hospital and restructuring of service remains unknown. The Public Accounts Committee has said that the current funding for the New Hospital Programme does not include Basingstoke Hospital. The Committee has recommended that any funding promises are to be put in writing.

Local Conservative Basingstoke MP Maria Miller has been criticised for her repeated insistence that the hospital funds are guaranteed given this context. Local Liberal Democrats and Greens, while somewhat critical, have been largely mute to date, given their support for the new hospital.