Royal Hampshire County Hospital

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Royal Hampshire County Hospital
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Hants County Hospital2.jpg
Location Winchester, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Care system Public NHS
Hospital type District General
Affiliated university University of Southampton
Emergency department Yes Accident & Emergency
Beds 540 (Trust)[1]
Founded 1736
Lists Hospitals in England

The Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester is a District General Hospital serving much of central Hampshire. It is owned and run by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It is commonly abbreviated to RHCH, or alternatively, Winchester Hospital (as opposed to the nearby St Paul's Hospital [elderly rehabilitation unit] which closed in January 1998).


The Hampshire County Hospital was founded in Winchester in 1736, but sites in the town centre proved problematic. By the mid-19th century drainage difficulties were so acute that relocation on higher ground was decided upon in 1861, albeit after much acrimonious debate. Florence Nightingale was an advocate of the scheme and advised on the site and building.

The eminent architect William Butterfield designed the new hospital, which opened in 1868 with sixteen in-patients and fourteen out-patients. Queen Victoria gave permission for the hospital to be 'Royal' and contributed to the appeal, which raised over £34,000 to finance the project.

Later additions to the site include the Outpatients Department in 1927, Nightingale Wing in 1986, Brinton Wing in 1992, and the new treatment and diagnostic centre (Burrell Wing) in 2006.[2] The site also encompasses Marfield Cottage (housing the human resources department), the Education Centre (completed 2006), Florence Portal House (Gynaecology and Maternity) and a creche. Although adjacent to the RHCH site the Melbury Lodge psychiatric unit is not part of the Winchester and Eastleigh NHS organisation. The Sexual Health clinic, although part of the hospital, is located off site further down Romsey Road opposite the Hampshire Constabulary headquarters.

As of 2006 Winchester and Eastleigh NHS has been pursuing Foundation Trust status and this has resulted in major streamlining of hospital policies and procedures. Land has also been earmarked for sale to raise revenue for the trust; some plots have already been sold to outside (non-NHS) interests. This is being done with a view to most offices and clinics being moved to the new Burrell Wing.

At 4pm on 9 December 2011, a fire broke out in the MRI Scanner Room; destroying the MRI Scanner and one of two CT Scanners, as well as the control room for all the scanners. The A&E Department next door survived, but was closed overnight, opening only for minor injuries the following night for several days until CT Scanning facilities were made available.[3]

In January 2012, the Basingstoke and North Hants Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust merged with the Winchester and Eastleigh NHS Trust; forming a combined organisation henceforward called Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.[4]


  1. ^ Benchmarking Search Engine: Entry form
  2. ^ A Brief History of Winchester, Hampshire, England
  3. ^ "Fire at Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester". The Daily Echo. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "About us". Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 

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Coordinates: 51°03′43″N 1°19′48″W / 51.062°N 1.330°W / 51.062; -1.330