Plans to build an urgent treatment centre at Andover War Memorial Hospital have been axed in a disappointing move that sees the town once again bumped down the county-wide agenda.

The staff at Andover’s hospital work exceptionally hard and are a credit to our community, providing first-class care in often challenging circumstances.

But it cannot be denied that both Andover Health Centre and the hospital are in dire need of investment. The Portakabin vibe of the surgery gives the impression of travelling back through time to the 1980s while in recent months, the hospital has been forced to turn to buckets to deal with a leaking roof.

For too long, Andover has been at the bottom of Hampshire Hospitals’ list of priorities as funding and attention has been directed to Basingstoke and Winchester.

In December 2018, Hampshire Hospitals was given £10.2million of government funding, the majority of which was spent on improvements at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

The trust was given a further £5million in ‘seed funding’ last October. It was initially supposed to help Basingstoke’s bid for a new hospital but it has now transpired it could be used once again for Winchester - either way, one place it isn’t going is Andover.

The one saving grace was this new urgent treatment centre which we announced with fanfare on our front page in September.

Our readers were delighted at the news and the prospective of a new facility helping to ease the burden of a growing number of patients as the town’s population swells.

Andover now has an estimated population of 50,452, an increase of eight per cent since 46,298 in 2015.

With new housing developments at Picket Piece and Picket Twenty, it will soon have more residents than ever.

It is only right that a town of this size has adequate healthcare provisions. Please Hampshire Hospitals, don’t forget about us.

  • This piece was amended on February 24 at the request of the NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group. This is to clarify that plans to build an urgent treatment centre have been scrapped however plans to build an 'integrated health and wellbeing hub' are going ahead.