HEALTH bosses say they are expecting the public consultation for plans on the improvement of critical hospital services in Hampshire to be delayed.

The proposal, which could see a £120 million critical treatment centre built on a green field site between Winchester and Basingstoke, has been under review by Gateway - an independent and expert Department of Health body.

They have said more work needs to be done before the public consultation can begin, including additional finance allowances, and a more detailed wider impact assessment.

It is expected that the consultation will begin at the end of May, after the local and European elections, but health chiefs say it could be pushed back until June, delaying any decision making until after September.

Plans to centralise services for the 15 per cent of sickest patients include two options; the £120 million hospital, or improvements to services at North Hampshire and Royal Hampshire County Hospitals.

The project is run by NHS West and North Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Wessex Area Team NHS England, who will produce a report for Hampshire County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee once the consultation process is complete.