Hampshire’s new elective hub – which it is hoped will help drive down NHS waiting lists across the county – has been given the green light and building work at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) in Winchester will now begin.

The new elective hub will provide more capacity and allow more operations to take place – improving access to elective surgery and reducing the elective backlog across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight region.

The plans for the elective hub were approved at the Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (HHFT) board meeting on Thursday, February 15.

Adults across Hampshire and Isle of Wight who require operations for orthopaedics (such as hip and knee replacements) will be eligible to attend the new elective hub. 

Operations taking place at the hub would be in addition to surgery already taking place at hospitals across Hampshire & the Isle of Wight.

Initially patients in Southampton and elsewhere in Hampshire (excluding Portsmouth), will be offered the choice of having their operation at either their local hospital or the hub.

In the future patients from Portsmouth and on the Isle of Wight may also be given the same opportunity.

The hub will deliver an additional 2,400 procedures each year, will operate six days a week with consultants from both University Hospital Southampton and Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust operating on their patients in the Hub.

It mirrors moves across the NHS, including in Surrey, to create “one stop” elective hubs to perform surgeries of ‘high volume low complexity’ in a single location – reducing waiting times for some of the most common elective procedures such as cataract surgeries and hip replacements.

Julie Maskery, strategic projects director at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The elective hub will provide a new way of working for orthopaedic surgery and we are delighted that we have had the final approval for the elective hub as it will benefit many people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

“The building work for the hub will involve refurbishing a floor within the Burrell building in the Royal Hampshire County Hospital to create two theatres and the associated inpatient facilities. The elective hub is due to open in April 2025 and we look forward to welcoming our first patients.”

The enabling work is already underway and the programme is collaborating with the contractor Integrated Health Projects (IHP) and AD Architects to develop the building specification.

At the same time as building the new elective hub, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will also be commencing the construction of a new orthopaedic outpatient facility at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

Scheduled to open in the summer 2025, this is part of the trust’s ongoing commitment and investment into services in Winchester.

The new department will provide eight outpatient rooms; a co-located plain film x-ray service with an adjacent treatment room; and four fracture clinic assessment booths with an adjacent two bay plaster room.

Once up and running, it aims to reduce the average wait from nine weeks currently to below five weeks for an elective outpatient appointment following a referral to the service. 

Find out more about NHS Hampshire plans here: https://www.hampshiretogether.nhs.uk/