Having recently attended the listening event run by Hampshire Together about the new hospital plans for Winchester, what did I think?

Well, the presentation was slick but long and there was not enough time for the Q and A and I wasn’t able to put my questions to the panel.

There was some lip service given to placate concerned Winchester residents about losing A and E  but it was slightly economical with the truth to intimate they would look at keeping an A and E in Winchester if this is the majority feedback.

READ MORE: Winchester residents fear loss of A&E unit will be ‘disastrous’

Hampshire Chronicle: The consultation event at Weeke Community CentreThe consultation event at Weeke Community Centre (Image: Adele Bouchard)

Let’s be completely open here, you cannot have an A and E where there is no emergency surgery, acute medicine or critical care. Their plan downgrades Winchester into a community-style hospital with rehab type beds, minor planned surgery beds, day-case, outpatients and UTC, which is not an acute hospital site. The SE Clinical Senate, comprising senior clinicians advising on e.g patient safety, could not agree it. It would not be safe for patients. So, the concerns would be “heard” but if acute services are centralised to another site Winchester will not be able to keep an A and E.

Similarly, you cannot have specialist maternity where there are no emergency theatres. The birthing unit will be staffed with midwives (may be preferred by some) but births that do not go to plan and need specialist input, will be transferred to the acute hospital 15 or 23 miles away. Will first births even be possible in a midwife unit when 40 per cent may need specialists (one in 10 for subsequent births).

For transparency, they must make public the full results of the initial consultation from Summer 2020, as all current options downgrade Winchester and give Basingstoke a shiny new one.

People said they want acute services in Winchester, especially A and E and maternity.

Please send your views to Hampshire Together.

Ginny Ward,

Main Road,


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