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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 it is the only open NHS hospital in Winchester.The independent regulator of health and social care in England, the Care Quality Commission positively rates Winchester's hospital - it was rated as "good" overall in 2015.HistoryThe 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 old Outpatients Department in 1927, Nightingale Wing in 1986, Brinton Wing in 1992, and the new treatment and diagnostic centre (Burrell Wing) in 2006. The site also includes 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 Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust; it is operated by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. The Sexual Health clinic, although part of the hospital, is located off site further down Romsey Road opposite the former Hampshire Constabulary headquarters.
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