HAMPSHIRE Hospital staff say the plans for a new hospital will improve services for people with cancer. 

Proposals to invest up to £900 million across hospitals in north and mid Hampshire would see a brand new cancer treatment centre developed at a new specialist acute hospital, which would be built on the current Basingstoke Hospital site, or near to Junction 7 of the M3.

The plans have been controversial over the proposed downgrading of Winchester's A&E. The RHCH would be refurbished and a 24/7 'urgent treatment centre' opened. The maternity unit at the hospital would also be downgraded to be mid-wife led.

Dr Charlotte Hutchings, a local GP and clinical director for North and Mid Hampshire at NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said: “We want to significantly improve the quality of care that we provide to people with cancer, and with suspected cancer.

“We want to make sure diagnostic tests and scans are easy to access, with results available swiftly. New ‘one-stop’ clinics will mean patients can combine three or four traditional outpatient appointments into one visit, and rapid results from tests will mean we can start their treatment sooner.

READ MORE: Hampshire hospital plans challenged by Winchester City Council

“There are, of course, numerous types of cancer, and everyone experiences their illness, diagnosis, care and treatment differently. We want to make sure that the care we give people and their families is tailored and personalised as much as possible.”

Steve Arnold, consultant surgeon and associate medical director for cancer services at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “New and developing technology would mean we can work better with our colleagues in public health and our local GPs, as well as expand our work with local community groups, with education around reducing the risk of cancer and spotting the early signs. 

“We’re also looking at innovative ways to detect cancer earlier, such as a blood test that looks for early signs of cancer by measuring certain proteins in the blood that may be released by tumour cells. There have been some promising early trials, and it is now being expanded to see if this can be used in a bigger population to detect early stages of cancer.

“GPs would be able to refer patients with suspected cancer directly to the best specific test to look for cancer, or to new ‘one-stop’ clinics, where patients would get support from clinical nurse specialists and other healthcare professionals. With this new investment, we would be able to phase out our older diagnostic equipment and bring in modern replacements. Future investment will aim to allow everyone to access diagnostic testing closer to their home.

“The cancer treatment centre would provide comprehensive cancer services, therapies, advice, and information to help improve the experiences of people living with, and beyond, cancer for all local people affected by the disease.“

To find out more, attend an event, or complete the questionnaire, visit hampshiretogether.nhs.uk. The consultation is open until midnight on March 17.

There is a listening event for people with experience of cancer on Wednesday February 14, from 10.30am until 12noon. To register, visit: eventbrite.co.uk/e/wessex-cancer-alliance-virtual-listening-event-wednesday-14-february-2024-tickets-810253559207?aff=oddtdtcreator.