MAJOR plans have been submitted for a new £15m surgery hub at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

The proposal is for a new building to accommodate orthopaedic outpatient facilities.

If approved, the building will provide a higher capacity and allow more operations to take place.

The building will be positioned next to Florence Portal House and the university accommodation in Burma Road.

The plans were submitted to Winchester City Council on Monday, October 9. 

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According to the planning statement, the proposed facility is expected to come into operation in mid-2025. The main construction period would begin in early 2024.

The planning statement said: “The proposed development will enable Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to deliver significant improvements to healthcare, and in particular orthopaedic outpatient services, across Winchester and the wider area. 

“The development, through its healthcare function, will help to make a positive contribution to people’s wellbeing and quality of life and create healthier neighbourhoods. It will create a positive and long-lasting legacy, through high quality design, which carefully considers the natural environment and the challenges presented by climate change.

“These works will help Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to maintain and enhance the level of care and facilities that they offer to the local community and further afield from Royal Hampshire County Hospital. As such we trust that the local planning authority will consider this application favourably.”

Hampshire Chronicle:

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By Sunday, October 22, just one public comment had been submitted. 

Richard Mawson, of Queens Road, Winchester, said: “It is encouraging to see a planning application for development on the site, given the expectation abroad that the site is deemed for closure within the near future. However, I do feel that in considering this application the extent to which this development can assist in alleviating the pressure on the wider health system during periods of high demand (predominately during the winter months and/or 'out-of-hours') should be taken into account? 

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“For example, as an out-patient facility I would suspect this building would operate 'normally' within office-hours, therefore the opportunity for this space during times of excessive activity effecting emergency and out -of-hours services should be explored to benefit the healthcare system. I understand routinely ambulance service vehicles are held up with patients waiting to be transferred into hospital care due to lack of facilities. This new development should be able to contribute to easing this situation if it is to go ahead. 

“Finally, I do feel that a facility of this nature should be 'serviced' by significant parking facilities as the availability of hospital transport is becoming harder to access, by their nature many orthopaedic patients will find mobility an issue and everyone in the vicinity is keenly aware of the shortage of patient parking spaces on this site. Selling off large quantities of land to the university was clearly ill thought through if expansion was planned and the planning authorities should be mindful of this.”

To view more details about the plans online, search 23/02376/FUL on Winchester City Council's planning portal.