Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has identified a greenfield site near Junction 7 of the M3, just south of Basingstoke, as the preferred location for the proposed new critical treatment hospital. The Trust says that the site was chosen as it is central to the area it will serve, with Eastleigh to the south, Newbury to the north, Andover to the west and Hook in the east. Of paramount importance in the siting of this hospital is quick and easy access. Being close to the M3, A303 and A34, as well as having good access for air ambulances, this site was an obvious choice.
The £150m hospital will be for the treatment of trauma patients, such as accident victims and those who have suffered heart attacks and strokes. The 24-hour consultant-led centre will also offer obstetric care, and be linked to a £5m specialist cancer centre. The majority of all other care will still be offered by people’s local hospitals at Andover, Winchester and Basingstoke.
The pre-planning application process will soon start in order to evaluate the site’s viability, which will include a consultation with the site’s neighbouring communities.
The Dever Society’s view
The Dever Society views the hospital in a different light from the opportunistic commercial developments with which we are threatened. A hospital is for the benefit of all of us and choosing the correct site with quick and easy access can mean the difference between life and death for many patients. It is for the experts in the medical profession to decide whether this is the most effective structure for the future of its services. However, if this development falls outside the structure plan for Basingstoke, it would be reassuring to know that it does not open the door to the spread of other types of development into the countryside. Also, where possible, we would hope to see a design which minimises the impact on the landscape. Appealing and imaginative design does not necessarily have to cost more.
Image: computer generated image of new cancer centre from http://basingstokeobserver.co.uk