WINCHESTER’S MP says he remains positive about the future of the city’s hospital despite plans to change the location of certain operations.

It is understood that emergency surgery on broken bones could be carried out at Basingstoke hospital, while Winchester could become a hub for planned hip and knee ops.

A report which last month went before the board of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT),which runs the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) in Winchester, as well as the Andover War Memorial Hospital and Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, supported the move to Basingstoke.

It said a “major change” was recommended “in delivery of acute and elective services, with a single site for the provision of major orthopaedic trauma.

“Plans are underway for seven-day trauma services on the Basingstoke site... By combining admissions on a single site, consultants’ job plans can be altered to allow a ward round of admissions before and after the daily trauma list to improve compliance with standard two, which is currently 33% for this speciality.”

‘Standard two’ refers to the need for emergency admissions to be seen and assessed at the latest within 14 hours.

The report adds: “Work is underway to make the required changes to staffing and infrastructure and job plans will be altered to support the focus on emergency care required by the increase in numbers in due course – expected October 2019.”

However, it also included improvement plans at the RHCH and Basingstoke for the delivery of emergency general surgery services, with building work already under way.

Steve Brine said: “Our trust has shown itself in recent months, the opening of the new Emergency Department a good example, to be investing in Winchester and I know there’s more to come which is why we can be positive about the future of the RHCH.

“It’s absolutely right there’s an ongoing process, one that is clinically led, to ensure we’re getting the right care in the right place when we’re acutely unwell. I maintain very close relationships with HHFT and, like my constituents, will want to be involved at every stage of any proposed service change.”

A spokesman for HHFT said plans were in the early stages: “We are working with our CCG partners to find ways to sustain and improve the emergency care of patients with orthopaedic trauma – in other words emergency surgery for broken bones.

“We are also looking at creating a centre of excellence for planned hip and knee operations for the wider Hampshire population.

“This work is being supported by the National Director of Clinical Improvement for the NHS and mirrors a number of similar service re-designs that have been successfully implemented in other trusts. It is at the early stages of consideration and we will be involving patients in shaping plans.”