Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is being proposed?

We want to position Salisbury’s hospital at the forefront of delivering integrated healthcare, creating a modern centre to serve the local community’s changing needs. It is intended that the hospital will grow its reputation as a centre of excellence locally and nationally, with new facilities for health and wellbeing, education and skills at its heart.  By adopting a phased approach to the project, we are proposing to develop a number of our key services, whilst providing space to extend key specialist units as well as creating research and development facilities.

We also want to create education opportunities that will increase the range of academic and vocational courses locally available. Importantly, we also want to develop amenities and services that will support and benefit the city of Salisbury and the wider community. These aspects would be set within new and publicly accessible green spaces; they could include commercial development, a new sustainable approach to energy, staff and patient accommodation, health and wellbeing services as well as formal and informal recreation facilities.

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust lead the project; however, as there are other uses proposed beyond healthcare, they are unable to deliver it on their own and need to work with appropriate specialists to achieve this.

  1. Why is it needed?

The hospital is committed to improving its facilities and services to meet changing needs and to ensure it continues to benefit the community it serves. To do this, we need to be a thriving, successful hospital, able to create independent revenues and with the facilities and resources to attract and retain talented people. It would also help support the local and wider community, bringing more employment opportunities and improving infrastructure.

  1. How far has the project developed?

The project was launched to the public in March 2019. Since the launch the development team have been undertaking feasibility studies and consultations with hospital staff, the community, other providers and local businesses to help refine proposals. This work has helped to shape the masterplan – this is not finalised, but it can be viewed here.

  1. What is the timescale for development?

Before we can apply for planning consent, we need to develop our proposals further; consulting with the local community, the council, and a range of other interested parties.

An initial public consultation took place in 2019 (view exhibition panels here), This work, along with feasibility studies and wider consultation with stakeholders, is influencing the evolution of the plans. The development team aim to complete and make the masterplan publicly available in the summer 2022.

  1. Who will it benefit?

Ensuring the future development of the hospital benefits our entire community. In fact, as a leading hospital it plays a vital role in delivering health care locally and for a wider population.

This project is about integrating educational, economic, social, infrastructure and environmental benefits, as well as health.

Incorporating education and training into the core of the hospital will also enhance the adult education provision in Salisbury, helping to drive forward the local economy. Salisbury is in need of economic regeneration and this scheme could be pivotal.

In addition, as one of Salisbury’s largest employers, we are committed to ensuring a sustainable future, allowing the hospital to take advantage of technological advances – leading to better care. To do this, we need to be able to attract and retain the best talent across health and potentially other linked sectors.

This is only possible if we can secure improved, more effective facilities, which will offer opportunities for independent revenue, by developing new resources and creating committed partnerships.

  1. Will it provide local jobs?

Yes. Both during the construction phase and once each area is operational. We will be able to substantially increase employment opportunities and encourage new and existing enterprises to base themselves in this area. At this stage, it is too early to predict actual numbers, but we are committed to local employment and services.

  1. Who has been involved in developing the proposals?

We have been speaking to key stakeholders across education, health and allied sectors, in addition, we have been talking to local landowners and organisations such as Natural England, English Heritage and the local councils. We are keen to understand their views of the potential for the site, before we can start to assess what might be required.

  1. Who are the project team?

The HEAT Project Salisbury Project Team comprises a number of organisations working together, led by a joint venture (JV) between Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust and Salutem.

  1. How will it be funded?

At this stage, the funding for the development is still being considered. It cannot be determined until the proposals are more advanced.

  1. Won’t this mean long-term disruption for visitors to the hospital?

It is, and will always remain, a key consideration to minimise any impact on the existing hospital operations during construction. The scheme will be carefully planned and phased by the experienced team to help achieve this.

However, the current hospital configuration is also far from optimal, and there are problems with some of the buildings, particularly the older stock. The buildings were not designed for modern use. As a result, in our proposals we will be seeking to address or remove these issues in the medium-term so that there is a balance to be had.

  1. Will it increase road traffic and congestion?

The roads surrounding the hospital can become congested, particularly at peak periods. Any proposed development will need to take this into account and improve the situation, not worsen it. Encouragement of, and provision for, further walking, cycling or use of public transport will make the development more sustainable, and is vital to protecting our environment and improving air quality.

There is an existing regular bus shuttle for travel to and from Salisbury and we will examine how we can encourage better take up of this service by making it more user and environmentally friendly. A green travel plan will also be put forward as part of the planning process.

  1. What impact will it have on the local landscape?

As part of the initial feasibility study, an assessment of the character and quality of the landscape will be undertaken. Whilst the existing hospital is principally sited on rising ground and is visible from the city and public viewpoints, much of the land surrounding the hospital slopes gently away from the main built areas in a series of ridges and valleys. Any development will be restricted in height to ensure that important views are preserved and the relationship between buildings and the immediate and wider landscape will be carefully considered. A landscape plan will be developed in conjunction with nature conservation organisations, such as the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to ensure increased public access and increase the city’s green space. Bio-diversity will be at the heart of the new landscape plan. Incorporating sustainable building technology, such as green roofs and green energy, will ensure buildings will respect the setting and landscape.

  1. What impact will it have on the local environment?

The hospital is sited in an area where some of the surrounding land is afforded environmental protection through planning policy. These include an archaeological site to the north, an Area Of Natural Beauty (AONB) to the south and views of Salisbury Cathedral amongst others. We take our commitment to preserving and enhancing the natural and historic environment extremely seriously. We will be working closely with organisations such as Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency to ensure there are mitigation measures in place, both during construction and operation. As part of the process of seeking planning permission a full Environmental Impact Assessment will be conducted which will look at all aspects of the development and how to enhance and protect the natural and man-made environment.

  1. What impact will it have on local wildlife?

We are committed to ensuring sensitive and sustainable development. We will work in partnership with organisations such as Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to survey the species and habitats on our site, creating, mitigating, restoring or preserving habitats and importantly, provide greater public access. Ecological surveys are ongoing as part of this.

  1. What impact will it have on ancient monument and heritage?

Little Woodbury is an important, but little known, Iron Age archaeological site located 1 mile north of the hospital, partially excavated in 1938/9. The Little Woodbury site will not be impacted by development. In fact, as part of our proposals, we are examining the potential for a visitor information centre near the site. We want to ensure visitors are informed of its archaeological importance whilst enhancing our understanding of prehistoric sites. We will be working with local archaeological groups and other interested parties to assist with the feasibility of this idea.

  1. When will the plans be made public?

The first public consultation was held in March 2019. The feedback received during the first consultation has helped to shape the masterplan. You can view the exhibition panels from the first event here.

We also held a public information event in August 2020, to update the public on the plans – you can view the webinar event here.

  1. Will the local community have an opportunity to have their say?

Yes, absolutely. We will be seeking the views from residents, the local community, business and the wider public at each of our exhibitions. These views will be used to shape our plans, as they develop.

We have already taken the feedback received at our events and have incorporated this into our plans.

Please keep an eye on our events page for details of our next webinar event or public exhibitions; we hope to present further plans for public engagement and consultation in early 2022.

  1. Why this is coming forward now?

As the health service remains under pressure, particularly post-pandemic, and the public sector is required to be more efficient and resourceful, the government has stated that innovation and sustainability are essential. The NHS is having to address significant demographic changes, and by planning ahead, this site could provide vital economic opportunities, as well as making the hospital more efficient and better equipped to meet the challenges it faces.

  1. Past plans have not come to fruition – why should these be taken seriously? Is this just a pipedream?

The hospital is not a modern build, and the community’s requirements have evolved over time. Like all hospitals, we have to prioritise the use of capital funds available to the Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust each year.

This has meant that in the past we have had to adopt an incremental approach towards refurbishment. However, to ensure long-term sustainability and viability (many of the current buildings are incapable of being upgraded to achieve net zero), the hospital now has to take action and embark upon major reconfiguration. This is based on a real need – we can no longer just do refurbishment on a piecemeal basis.

We want to position Salisbury District Hospital at the forefront of integrated healthcare, working with others to create a modern centre which serves the community’s changing needs. The opportunity to secure funding over a longer period will provide the Trust and its partners with the means to achieve this outcome.

  1. Is this the final stage of the project?

No, we are just at the very beginning. One of the key considerations is to minimise any impact on the existing hospital operations. The scheme will be carefully planned and phased to help achieve this and the work will not be carried out all at once.

  1. What is the rationale behind each different new building?

We are at an early stage of the process and are still finalising our plans. We have not yet made final decisions on the exact format or configuration of the buildings, but we are doing an options appraisal that will assess the health needs and our plans will be developed around this.

However, our priorities are clear. We want to:

  • Improve facilities for planned care by replacing our day surgery unit. This will support the Trust’s intent to separate planned and urgent care services.
  • Provide new facilities for maternity services
  • Ensure our wellbeing, health and rehabilitation services are developed and enhanced.