MILLIONS of pounds in funding has been awarded for improvements at Winchester’s hospital.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) has received £10.2million from the Department of Health and Social Care for upgrades, and comes around two months after being told it must improve.

The trust, which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) in Winchester, as well as hospitals in Basingstoke and Andover, has said it will spend the cash on the pharmacy and orthopaedic departments in Winchester.

It comes after funding was also secured for improvements at the A&E’s of both Winchester and Basingstoke’s hospitals.

The Department for Health handed HHFT £4 million to help ease winter pressures on the emergency services, and work has already begun on the RHCH’s emergency department.

Now, the trust’s successful bid for £10.2m for two projects will allow more people to be treated at the hospital in Romsey Road, Winchester.

One of them will see the pharmacy at the hospital moved to a new location, allowing staff to use equipment that will speed up the process of dispensing medicines to patients.

The other will see the trust create a new centre for non-urgent orthopaedic care, reducing the time people have to wait for operations, such as hip replacements, in the future.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Having £10million set aside for these specific programmes is a great investment in our trust from the Department of Health and Social Care.

“We are really looking forward to progressing these projects.

“Upgrading our pharmacy facilities at Winchester hospital will have a positive impact on all of our patients as it will mean that we are able to get medicines out to the wards sooner, while creating a new centre for elective orthopaedic care will help us to treat people who require what is often a life-altering operation sooner than we are currently able to.”

HHFT has now secured a total of nearly £20m in external funding over the past year.

The funding comes after a report by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in late September found shortfalls in the way it manages safety, effectiveness and responsiveness at its hospitals.