FOLLOWING the end of a three-month consultation on the future of hospitals in central Hampshire, an NHS boss has thanked people for getting involved.

The consultation on the £700m to £900m plans, including a new specialist acute hospital in Basingstoke, removal of Winchester’s A&E departments and refurbishment of the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, closed on Sunday, March 17.

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight said: “We would like to thank everyone who took the opportunity to get involved in the consultation for the new hospital programme.

READ MORE: Petition to save Winchester's A&E surpasses 17,000 signatures

“We have held more than 20 in-person public listening events and more than eight online, as well as many face-to-face meetings with community groups that we have been invited to attend. We have also organised pop-up stands in more than 10 different locations, held drop-in exhibitions, had one-to-one telephone interviews with people, and held focus groups with people across the area.

“An independent research company will now collate and analyse all the responses we have received, including what we heard at our events, focus groups and in telephone surveys, the results of the consultation questionnaire, and feedback we received via other methods, including in writing, or by telephone.

“The independent research company will develop a consultation report which will provide a comprehensive picture of the views of those who have responded. We will receive the final report in due course.”

Hampshire Chronicle: The three options that were consulted onThe three options that were consulted on (Image: HHFT)

A petition to save Winchester’s A&E has continued to grow following the end of the consultation with more than 21,000 signatures.

Dr Alloway previously assured residents that potential options to keep and emergency department at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Romsey Road had been “exhaustively explored”.

SEE ALSO: Hampshire health bosses back urgent treatment centres in place of A&E

However, doctors believe having an emergency department in Winchester and Basingstoke “would not be clinically safe or sustainable” due to having to spread consultants across two sites.

Under the proposals, Winchester’s A&E will be replaced with a 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre which Hampshire NHS leaders believe would be able to treat around 60 per cent of patients currently turning to the emergency department.

Winchester residents have also criticised decisions to “downgrade” the maternity department from consultant to midwife-led.

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