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Frequently asked questions

Here is a list of questions about the project. If you would like to find out more or have a question not listed below, please contact us.



Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust (SFT) and partners are exploring how to create a sustainable, integrated and environmentally sensitive, net zero carbon development at Salisbury District Hospital.

HEAT Project Salisbury is designed to explore the potential for the Salisbury District Hospital site, working with education, research and technology to create a truly 21st century sustainable healthcare centre.

This is a hospital-led project that plans to combine new education, training and research capacity, while also providing new hospital facilities, embracing the best of modern technology.

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, regionally and nationally, with new facilities for health and wellbeing, education and skills, and technology at its heart.

The redevelopment will adopt 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 training, 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 life science focused 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.

The phasing of the development will be carefully planned to ensure the continuous running of all hospital services. It is too early to predict how many phases are likely as this is dependent on the availability of funding and resources. The first stage, phase one of the project, will prioritise the elective care centre, which will replace the existing rapidly deteriorating day surgery building. Phase one will also comprise the development of a group of new buildings for use by research and development, education and training, and associated administrative departments, and a new decked car park and a new entrance arrangement designed around the existing ‘Springs’ entrance.  The elective care centre would be a dedicated building for the delivery of planned day case surgery, ensuring the separation of elective care from the pressures of emergency care.

Salisbury District Hospital is, like many other hospitals, facing a challenging future and must plan for increased pressures on resources, greater efficiency and improved service delivery, with the age of some of the facilities adding to the challenge. Many of the buildings which are still in use date from 1944, the hospital site is intensively developed – in order to maintain critical clinical care during construction, new development needs to occur beyond the existing built estate.

The hospital is in need of urgent reconfiguration and regeneration to meet the challenges of 21st century healthcare. The most pressing concern is the day surgery unit. This currently treats 8,000 patients each year, but is beyond its economic asset life and no longer complies with the required health building standards – it is at high risk of imminent failure.

There are also associated demands for more care for older patients, backlogs in waiting lists, specialist and technical developments.  Aged infrastructure is also having a significant environmental toll, given the age and relative energy efficiency of the buildings.

The hospital has evolved over time, becoming Salisbury’s largest employer, and a pivotal part of the local economy. However, to ensure its long-term sustainability and viability, it has to reconfigure to make the best of its specialist services and work with other providers in the community to ensure it can deliver an optimum service to the city and surrounding region.

To meet these requirements, 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.

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.

The pre planning and planning stages are being progressed and we anticipate making a detailed application for phase 1 of the project in late 2022.

The hospital finalised its business case for phase 1 of the project in early 2022.

To find out more about timescales, please click here.

Ensuring the future development of the hospital benefits our entire community. In fact, as a leading hospital it plays a vital role in delivering healthcare 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 by more fully leveraging the hospital’s specialisms, 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.

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.

Ongoing engagement has also been taking place with Salisbury City Council, Wiltshire Council and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) to understand their views of the potential for the site and reach the next stage of the development.

The Project Team for HEAT Project Salisbury comprises a number of organisations working together, led by Salutem, who are the appointed Development Managers for the scheme

The project will be phased to accommodate the smooth running of the hospital. It is too early to predict how many phases there will be as this is dependent on funding, resources and planning.

Phase 1 will focus on the new elective care centre (to replace the existing day surgery unit), replacement of surface parking spaces via a decked solution and a flexible education / innovation building – we expect to submit plans for this later in 2022.

We will provide further detail on each of these areas as plans evolve.

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 a balance will be struck.

Employment and 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.


The Salisbury Foundation Trust (SFT) currently delivers training to staff members at all levels within the organisation in a large range of areas; for example, clinical skills, simulation leadership and management, coaching and mentoring.

It also provides support to students on placement, junior doctor training, and supports a range of apprenticeships. SFT has partnerships with a large number of universities, colleges and training providers. Local connections include Bournemouth, Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth.

There is a total of just 487 sqm of floorspace that can be utilised for education activities. In addition to staff levels, accommodation has been cited by the training department as a constraint on activity.

Investing in education and training is essential and will enable the hospital to deliver a much better and improved service and help us deliver the right level of care using the best technology.

SFT urgently needs to expand its current facilities to meet current demand.

We have outlined our requirements that would enable training activity to grow to meet the existing level of demand for training and education. This would include office space, a library, one-to-one coaching space, training rooms, a lecture theatre, a ward area and a simulation suite.

The education element of the project is a key focus of the HEAT project, with the overall aim of helping the hospital thrive, develop the resources to recruit and retain talented people in the area, and drive forward the local economy.

Currently, there are few educational pathways for young people to lead them to Salisbury and fewer reasons to keep them here. By working with higher and further education providers, there could be much greater provision, which would benefit everyone in the city and surrounding region.

The new university level education facilities will be a specialist site for education and skills. We are currently speaking with potential partners to develop further apprenticeship, undergraduate, postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes.

We are also working with local further education provider Wiltshire College and we are exploring opportunities for innovative curriculum design and delivery through shared staffing and facilities.

A range of education providers will deliver training to staff members in a large range of areas; for example, clinical skills, simulation leadership and management, coaching and mentoring. The prospective range of undergraduate tuition is being assessed with potential education provider partners.

There is also scope for SFT to act as a knowledge hub, offering education and skills facilities and resources to partners.

We are exploring options, looking at how we could develop the site into a specialist site for education and skills. We are keen to work with the education sector and establish a collaborative approach to working with other key partners to gauge interest. We want to create a plan for how the site might work in terms of education and training, including the facilities for research and development.

We are now exploring engagement from the wider education sector to join us in the next stage of the HEAT Project Salisbury and create an education centre that is functional and useable by multiple education providers.

Health Services at the hospital

The project will reconfigure the outdated and congested site, to provide new and improved environmentally sustainable facilities in an improved, designed landscape setting, to include:

  • a new elective care centre (to replace the existing day surgery unit)
  • maternity and neonatal intensive care suite
  • cancer unit
  • new rehabilitation and accommodation for people with dementia
  • life-science research and development

Phase one of the project will prioritise the elective care centre, which will replace the existing, rapidly deteriorating day surgery building.

The development will also include new buildings for use by research and development, education and training, and associated administrative departments, and a new decked car park.  The elective care centre would be a dedicated building for the delivery of planned day case surgery, ensuring the separation of elective care from the pressures of emergency care.

The maternity services and neonatal unit are located in buildings originally built for the Second World War. There isn’t currently room to deliver care in the way patients want today.

As part of our redevelopment will consider how maternity facilities can be upgraded at the hospital.

The hospital currently treats 8000 per day surgery patients each year. As part of the redevelopment, we are working closely with our commissioners to understand requirements for future demand of services at Salisbury District Hospital. The capacity, and number of beds, is determined by a number of factors including population growth, the increased demand for care of older patients and how we work with care partners.

The vision is to create a campus style environment for visitors, patients, students and staff, that encourages social interaction and has usable green spaces accessible to staff and visitors alike, that are biologically diverse.  We want to enhance green spaces, provide space for staff wellbeing, improve environments for patients and staff and improve wayfinding for patients.

Travel and Transport

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 developed as part of the planning process. A series of trials are underway, and we are looking at re-balancing transport and active travel, such as introducing improved cycle and electric bike routes and minimising car journeys through the introduction of car sharing for staff.

Our aim is to reduce reliance on single occupancy car journeys and promote active travel.

The trials that are currently taking place across the site aim to establish what works best to encourage the use of carbon-neutral transport. In addition to a significant expansion of the car sharing programme trials include the introduction of an ANPR system to better control parking, a new secure electric bike hub with charging facilities, and better and safer walking and cycling routes with improved links to the city centre and station.

Plans for the hospital have been designed to ensure that the redeveloped hospital will have the same number of parking spaces as it currently has. The spaces will also be closer to the entrance, as it will be on a decked parking format, rather than spread out across the site, making it easier for people to access the hospital.

The new decked parking will be designed and overseen by specialist transport advisors to ensure that it is in line with best practice and guidance.

We are in dialogue with transport company to try to improve the existing provision.

The existing helipad will be retained for the air ambulance.

There is currently a good percentage of hospital staff who cycle to work, and SFT will continue to encourage this by providing improved amenities. This will include additional showers and lockers for staff and secure storage for bikes.

Environment and heritage

As part of the initial feasibility study, an assessment of the character and quality of the landscape has been undertaken.

Phase one will be entirely located on the existing car parks 8 and 9 and immediately surrounding areas, within the curtilage of the existing hospital and has been carefully designed to ensure that any changes to views from the city and surrounding countryside are limited.

In addition, the new landscape within which the development is set will be designed to better integrate the buildings with the landscape and give the hospital a new sense of place.

While 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 future phasing of the development will also be restricted in height and massing to ensure that important views are preserved and the relationship between buildings and the immediate and wider landscape will be carefully considered.

Landscape plans 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 where feasible and green energy, will ensure the development will respect the setting and landscape.

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 Outstanding 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 in the design work to date.

We will continue to work 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 for the HEAT Project master plan, full account of both the man-made and natural environment will be taken into consideration, supported by appropriate surveys and studies which will look at all aspects of the development and how to enhance and protect the environment.

We are committed to ensuring sensitive and sustainable development. We will work in partnership with organisations such as Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to share survey information gathered to schedule and record 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. Improving biodiversity on the Hospital Estate is a key project aim.

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.

NHS aspiration to be net zero carbon by 2040.  The ambition for the redevelopment of the hospital is to create a site that not only has buildings that are zero carbon, but to create a site that is fully zero carbon in its operations. There are a number of trials and initiatives that are being considered to enable this and we hope to share details of these soon

Design and the planning process

We are at an advanced planning stage and we are  finalising our plans.

However, our priorities are clear. The project will reconfigure the outdated and congested site, to provide new and improved environmentally sustainable facilities in a designed landscape setting, to include:

  • a new elective care centre (to replace the existing day surgery unit)
  • replacement parking in decks where car parks are developed to provide new accommodation
  • university-level education facilities and supporting accommodation
  • maternity and neonatal intensive care suite, and cancer unit
  • new rehabilitation and accommodation for people with dementia
  • life-science research and development
  • supporting employment space
  • site-wide use of renewable and sustainable energy solutions

This will all be provided in sustainable, flexible and shared buildings.

The project team work closely with a number of specialists and partners in health and social care to ensure the hospital capacity is based on projections for future population estimations.

While topic areas for discussion and consultation have been set out, the Neighbourhood Development Plan for Salisbury has not yet been published. The agreed boundary of the plan area does not go as far as the hospital or adjacent site but transport issues for example are not constrained by lines on a map. We are seeking clarification as to the programme for completion of the plan in order that we can focus on any overlap issues (expected end of June).

It is anticipated that a detailed planning application for phase one of the project will be submitted in late 2022. If this is approved, work could begin once funding is agreed.

We welcome feedback on our plans. Please contact us to get in touch

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 later in 2022 after we have had the council’s input to the pre-app.

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 and care sector has well publicised staffing shortages and the educational aspect of the scheme is critical to help address this at a local level. 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.

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.

Timeline and costs

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

You can also subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with future events.

We will be holding further public events and these dates will be published on the website when confirmed.

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.

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

We hope to announce plans for the next stage of public consultation later in 2022 and to integrate the views expressed into the evolving design well before submitting a planning application. This will provide further details of phase one of the planning application.  Following this, the development team aim to complete and make the masterplan publicly available by the end of 2022.

This is subject to funding. We will update the website regularly to provide information on timescales and funding.

This is subject to funding. We will update the website regularly to provide information on timescales and funding.

In the first instance, we will be developing on the existing surface car park – this is to allow the existing healthcare buildings to continue to function, while new buildings are developed.

No, we are just at the 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.


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

During construction

There will be construction traffic which will be managed by a construction management plan to be agreed with Wiltshire Council. The ongoing work that the hospital is undertaking to reduce single occupancy car journeys will mitigate operational traffic. It is important to note that much of phase one comprises replacement buildings.

Noise mitigation measures during construction will also be agreed with the local authority. The hospital is particularly mindful of the need to minimise noise and disruption to patients.

Last updated 20/06/2022

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