HAMPSHIRE’S new elective hub has been given the green light and building work at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) in Winchester will now begin.

It will provide more capacity and allow more operations to take place, reducing the backlog across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The plans were approved at the Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (HHFT) board meeting on Thursday, February 15.

Adults across the county who require operations for orthopaedics will be eligible to attend the new elective hub. 

It will deliver an additional 2,400 procedures each year and will operate six days a week with consultants from both University Hospital Southampton and Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust. 

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Hampshire Chronicle: Royal Hampshire County Hospital

Julie Maskery, strategic projects director at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The elective hub will provide a new way of working for orthopaedic surgery and we are delighted that we have had the final approval for the elective hub as it will benefit many people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“The building work for the hub will involve refurbishing a floor within the Burrell building in the Royal Hampshire County Hospital to create two theatres and the associated inpatient facilities. The elective hub is due to open in April 2025 and we look forward to welcoming our first patients.”

The enabling work is already underway and the programme is collaborating with the contractor Integrated Health Projects (IHP) and AD Architects to develop the building specification. 

At the same time as building the new elective hub, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will also be commencing the construction of a new orthopaedic outpatient facility at the RHCH. 

Scheduled to open in summer 2025, the trust says this is part of its commitment and investment into services in Winchester.

The new department will provide eight outpatient rooms; a co-located plain film x-ray service with an adjacent treatment room; and four fracture clinic assessment booths with an adjacent two bay plaster room. 

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer for NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight said: “These two developments will provide a significant benefit to our residents and is a positive step forward in reducing our backlog for elective surgeries. Waits for orthopaedic surgery is one of the biggest challenges across Hampshire, so by using the hub to focus on our orthopaedic patients, we can work in partnership to reduce the waiting times for surgery.

“We are working hard to improve our services and we are confident that the elective hub and the new orthopaedic outpatient facility will play a significant role in achieving this.”

The trust is currently consulting on major changes to healthcare in central Hampshire which would see a new hospital in Basingstoke and the downgrading of the RHCH's A&E and maternity units.