AN MP has admitted to “anxiety” about plans to downgrade the Royal Hampshire County Hospital – but has urged local people to listen to the arguments.

Steve Brine, the Winchester MP, wants people to quiz clinicians, managers and GPs at a meeting he has organised for the end of next month.

As previously reported, the shake-up would see a new £70m hospital built, either in Basingstoke or on a patch of land between the A303, A34 and the M3.

The Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust argues that it is needed to treat the most serious cases and to provide consultant-led maternity care.

But, as a result, specialist staff will be withdrawn from the Winchester Hospital, leaving a midwife-led unit only. Accident and emergency could also be downgraded.