SIR: Like many others, we were very glad when the Prime Minister announced that the NHS would have a big boost to its spending power. We did not know that this might result in residents of Winchester and the surrounding district having a reduced service at their hospital. The report in the Hampshire Chronicle (October 29) indicates that a new hospital might be built in the Basingstoke area and that Winchester might lose its A&E and maternity services.

I am in the latter half of my seventies, my husband is in his early eighties, and we do not feel especially elderly, except when of necessity we have to visit Basingstoke hospital and cope with the many dual carriageways and roundabouts to get there.

The country should be discouraging extra travel, which causes more traffic pollution and congestion and it seems to us that the money would be better spent improving the existing hospital in Winchester and perhaps creating a new one for Basingstoke, if necessary, or improving that.

Rachel Curtis,