WINCHESTER residents are urged to have their say on multi-million-pound plans to improve healthcare in the area and stop any potential downgrading of the city’s hospital.

Last week the Chronicle reported fears from senior staff at the Romsey Road site that A&E and consultant-led maternity could be removed, and Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital rebuilt.

Now an engagement session will be held on Thursday (July 9) focusing on the Winchester area and the existing hospital in particular.

The online session will discuss the current challenges around the current sites run by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, along with the potential opportunities created by the improvements to the local health care system, entitled Hampshire Together programme.

People will also be able to share their experiences to help shape the future plans, says the trust.

MP Steve Brine is appealing for Winchester residents to make sure they are heard to stop any downgrading of Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

In a message he said: “The programme will deliver a new hospital to replace the current Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital that will, in its own words, “serve the people of north and mid Hampshire”.

“More than this though, it is the start of a conversation - from GPs to mental health services, community and social care – to shape the services we will rely on for many years to come.

“There is so much opportunity here – backed by the promise of significant new investment in the NHS – but I want constituents to be in no doubt whatsoever that any change could have a huge impact on the Royal Hampshire County Hospital; around acute services such as maternity, stroke care and the emergency dept.”

To sign up to the Winchester event taking place at 8pm on Thursday, go to

On Saturday the hospital trust will also run an online engagement session focusing on improving care of older people – both in hospital, and in the community.

Dr Catherine Terry, a senior doctor specialising in elderly care, said: This is a fantastic chance for us to create more elderly care wards, with more space, to provide the best care and give us dedicated communal areas to ensure that inpatients get the social interaction that is so important to them.

“It’s also a chance to ensure that wards are friendlier for elderly patients, with features such as brighter lighting and hearing loops. And we hope to work more closely with our GP and emergency department colleagues, providing specialist assessment at an early stage to prevent elderly people from being admitted to hospital unless they really need to be there.”

The session on improving care of older people will take place on Saturday (July 11) at 11am. To sign up go to,