ITV News Meridian's Harry Acton reports from Basingstoke.
In a nondescript building in Basingstoke lies what could possibly be 'one of the best cardiac centres in the country'.
The Hampshire Hospitals Heart Centre is a state of the art facility, providing treatments to people across Hampshire and parts of the Thames Valley.
It opened in 2022, and since then has been growing the number of services it offers, meaning patients no longer need to travel long distances to have 'state of the art' treatments.
Hampshire Hospitals says it is an example of what can be achieved when services are consolidated.
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To make it possible, all cardiac related care is handled at the Basingstoke site, meaning the best staff and equipment are centralised.
Any patient who requires specialist cardiac treatment can no longer be seen at Winchester following the changes, and health bosses are now proposing more changes to other services too.
They say the Heart Centre is a taste of what healthcare in the county could be like, if proposals to build a new specialist 'acute' hospital is built near to Junction 7 of the M3.
All emergency services would be moved from Winchester and Basingstoke's existing hospitals to the new site, which would allow clinicians to deliver the best levels of care possible.
Consultant Cardiologist Dr Dominic Kelly explains the importance of the centre.
The current set-up, where services are dual-run at both sites, is no longer feasible they say.
Dr Nick Ward, Interim Chief Medical Officer at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This approach has been developed by our clinical teams. Together we are confident it will help us provide higher quality care more consistently, make the best use of our specialist staff and equipment, deliver more stable, sustainable services, and speed up how quickly people can access the care they need.”
Any changes are subject to an ongoing public consultation on the plans - which would see significant changes.
Health leaders insist they are open to any and all feedback on the plans, and say they are aware of the concerns many may have over the proposals.
Dr Nick Ward explains why changes need to happen.
Residents have until the 17 March to have their say, and can do so online or in person. All views will be taken into consideration, they say.
Dr Lara Alloway, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight said: “We have held nine public listening events in person and five online, and there are at least another eight in person and three online events planned before the consultation closes in mid-March.
“We’re keen to hear from as many people as possible, in whichever way is most convenient for them and are continuing to hold events in a variety of different towns and locations, as well as at different times of day including evenings and weekends, as well as online. We’re also continuing to conduct one-to-one telephone surveys and focus groups with people across the area.
“We’ve made information available in a range of formats, including large print, Easy Read, factsheets, and summary documents, all of which are available on the consultation website, www.hampshiretogether.nhs.uk.”
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