WINCHESTER people will be able to have their say on new proposals to close the A&E department at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

As previously reported, the closure is part of the plans for a new specialist acute hospital on the edge of Basingstoke, using more than £800m in government funding.

Under the plans, the RHCH would be refurbished and a 24/7 urgent treatment centre opened. The maternity unit at the hospital would also be downgraded to be mid-wife led.

Hampshire Together will be consulting on the plans at Weeke Community Centre on Taplings Road from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday, January 23.

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The consultation will feature a presentation on the proposals, followed by a question and answer session. While the event is free to attend, anyone wishing to go must book online beforehand by visiting the Hampshire Together website.

A consultation on the plans has already taken place at Basingstoke Hospital, on Monday, January 15.

Hampshire Chronicle: The three optionsThe three options (Image: HHFT)During the event attendees were given a presentation by several speakers including the chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Alex Whitfield, Dr Lara Alloway the chief medical officer (CMO) for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board,  interim chief medical officer Nick Ward and Shirlene Oh the chief strategy population health officer.

The new options were discussed in detail including the first – option 1 - building a new hospital at the current site of Basingstoke hospital, in Aldermaston Road.

However, this option would cost £948m, compared to £807m for the ‘preferred’ option 2 to build a hospital at Junction 7 of the M3.

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Hampshire Chronicle: Basingstoke and North Hampshire HospitalBasingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital A third option has also been added to the list, which is identical to option 2 other than having nurse-led rehabilitation beds at the current Basingstoke hospital site. This is expected to cost £860m.

Option 2 has been chosen as the preferred way forward because it would be easier to build at Junction 7 and it would place specialist and emergency care more centrally between Basingstoke and Winchester, without requiring the nursing workforce to be split across an additional site.

All three options would include refurbishment at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.