BETTER social interaction, more elderly care wards and specialist assessments are just some of the improvements that older people could see as part of the region’s hospital modernisation programme.

The Hampshire Together programme is a multi-million pound project aiming to revolutionise healthcare in north and mid Hampshire and will include the building of a brand new hospital to serve the region – as well as many other healthcare benefits.

As part of the programme, people from north and mid Hampshire are being asked to share their views on the way health services are provided in the area now and in the future.

This weekend, an online engagement event focussing on the opportunities that the programme will provide for elderly care is set to take place.

One of the project’s key challenges is to ensure that the growing number of older people, often living with multiple conditions, get the best possible care in the most appropriate place.

Dr Catherine Terry, a senior doctor specialising in elderly care at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is excited by the opportunities that the Hampshire Together programme offers.

“This is a fantastic chance for us to create more elderly care wards, with more space, to provide the best care and give us dedicated communal areas to ensure that inpatients get the social interaction that is so important to them,” she said.

“It’s also a chance to ensure that wards are friendlier for elderly patients, with features such as brighter lighting and hearing loops. And we hope to work more closely with our GP and emergency department colleagues, providing specialist assessment at an early stage to prevent elderly people from being admitted to hospital unless they really need to be there.

“We also see the opportunities to link with other healthcare professionals working outside hospital, using technology to share notes and records, and coming together to work as a single team for the benefit of the patient, rather than as a group of teams working in isolation from each other.”

Sara Courtney, deputy director of nursing at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust added: “The role of Southern Health is to support people to stay as well and as independent in their own homes and communities wherever possible. Our specialist community staff help prevent the need for people to go to hospital, and help those in hospital to return home as early as possible and safely.

“Hampshire Together is a great opportunity to build on improvements we are already making, so that our care is as joined up and effective as possible.

“A new hospital is part of a community of health and care services and we would encourage anyone who has an interest, people who access services in mid and north of Hampshire and staff that work in any of these services, to get involved and help shape the Hampshire Together programme.”

Residents can hear more about the opportunities that the programme provides for elderly care, as well as having their own say, during a special online engagement event taking place at 11am on Saturday, July 11.

To register to take part go to

A similar event focussing on the Winchester area and Winchester hospital will also take place at 8pm on Thursday. To register for this event go to

The Hampshire Together: Modernising our Hospitals and Health Services programme involves NHS and social care providers across Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and the surrounding areas.

It is being led by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership of Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group.

The programme includes the construction of a brand new hospital – but its impact will reach far beyond the walls of this new building, involving GPs, mental health, community care, social care and the wider voluntary sector, as well as acute hospital care.

For more information about the programme go to

If you would like to receive the listening document and a comment form by post, write to the programme at FREEPOST Hampshire Together (no stamp required) with your name and address.