Health minister Caroline Dinenage was able to see the impact that central funding is having at Royal Hampshire County Hospital when she paid a visit on Monday 7 October.
The Minister of State for Care visited several departments across Winchester hospital, meeting staff and hearing about future plans for healthcare in Hampshire.
These plans received a boost last week with the news that Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of 21 Trusts across the country granted seed funding as part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s Health Infrastructure Plan. This funding will enable the Trust to develop a business case for as yet undecided building projects to be delivered between 2025 and 2030.
During her visit, Caroline was shown Burrell House, a historic but currently unused building on the hospital site, for which fundraising is underway to create Winchester Hospice. She then went to the emergency department, where she was able to see new areas that were completed earlier this year with the help of funding from the Department of Health and Social Care.
Finally, Caroline visited a ward caring for elderly patients, where she heard how staff from Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust work in partnership with colleagues from Southern Health and Hampshire County Council to make sure that patients with long term conditions are in the best place to receive the care and support they require.
Caroline said: “I was honoured to visit Royal Hampshire County Hospital and hear how staff from Hampshire Hospitals are working with partners including Southern Health and Hampshire County Council to modernise services and provide the best possible care.
“It is vital that our hospitals are well equipped to support patients’ individual health needs and ensure the best possible outcomes. I was pleased to hear that the seed funding allocated to the Trust last week as part of the Health Infrastructure Plan will support Hampshire Hospitals to transform local health services and develop detailed plans that allow the best quality services to be delivered in the right place at the right time.”
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Royal Hampshire County Hospital, as well as hospitals in Andover and Basingstoke, accompanied Caroline and Winchester MP Steve Brine during their visit.
She said: “We were really pleased to welcome Caroline to Winchester hospital and showcase some of the ways that we are working to provide the best possible care for the people of Hampshire.
“We are delighted that Hampshire Hospitals has been selected as one of the Trusts that will receive central funding as part of phase two of the Department of Health and Social Care’s Health Infrastructure Plan from 2025.
“We are already exploring ways that we can provide a more modern environment, designed for the needs of our patients and staff both today and in the future. This seed funding provides a fantastic opportunity for us to develop more detailed plans working with our local communities, our partners and our staff.”