Flick Drummond MP in her Letter from Westminster in the Chronicle (December 7) applauds the enhancements which she believes the removal of functions from the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester to the location of a new hospital in Basingstoke would bring to residents of, particularly, the southern parishes.

One of these is location which Ms Drummond considers to have at present “little convenient about it” unless you live nearby, and that parking is very difficult at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. 

I am very surprised that no one has told her about the excellent park and ride buses. From Bishop’s Waltham I can use the No. 69, get off at the Guildhall and step on P&R to RHCH. By car I can use St. Catherine’s P&R and go directly to the hospital. As for parking at the hospital, I have never had a problem.

And what about visiting? The very real inconvenience of a Basingstoke location is not considered in the letter. Not everyone has access to a car, or if they do, some of my older friends are not accustomed and are thus unwilling, to drive on the motorway, especially in the dark. What sort of public transport links are envisaged – bus-train-bus – and is their provision set in stone? How are people to visit relatives? Or to fetch them home post-treatment; ambulances cannot be relied upon to make return journeys. How can we expect our admirable Care Group volunteer drivers to add another 24 miles (and time consumed) to out-patient appointments? The price of a taxi to Winchester is not inconsiderable, but double it plus time.

One last comment: Why only now is there talk of “keeping people alive” and “having expert care readily available”, we could have that in the last fifteen years.

Consultation is being opened: let your thoughts be known.

Jennifer Williams,
Winchester Road,
Bishop's Waltham

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