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‘Light definitely at the end of the tunnel’: Government confirms funding for new Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow ‘to be completed by 2030’





Full funding for a state-of-the-art new hospital for Harlow has been confirmed by the Government.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay announced the green light for a purpose-built new healthcare campus, proposed for a site off junction 7a of the M11.

The cost of replacing dilapidated and outdated facilities at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in the centre of Harlow, freeing the 1960s site for new homes, is estimated at £850m.

Artist's impression of the new Princess Alexandra Hospital
Artist's impression of the new Princess Alexandra Hospital

A new PAH was one of 40 hospitals the Conservatives pledged to build in their December 2019 General Election manifesto.

Hopes had been high that the Harlow site would be ready by 2025 but the Government pledge now is to complete by 2030.

Since the initial announcement, the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) has been working with other trusts and the New Hospital Programme (NHP) to develop a framework to streamline the design and procurement of contractors and to use modern construction methods so the new facilities can be built faster, better and more efficiently.

Image of how the new Princess Alexandra Hospital could look
Image of how the new Princess Alexandra Hospital could look

However, PAHT has been unable to answer questions from the Indie about when it will be able to conclude purchase of the land, submit a detailed planning application and receive planning permission and therefore give a date when construction could begin. Instead, PAHT said it was pressing ahead with its outline business case.

Chair Hattie Llewelyn-Davies and chief executive Lance McCarthy said: “Our many years of hard work and preparation have paid off, and we can push ahead with our new hospital with certainty and confidence.

"We are very excited to be part of the New Hospital Programme and fully supportive of the plans to standardise the delivery of all the new hospitals using the Hospital 2.0 model.

“We are confident in the huge benefits this approach will bring for our people, our patients and the many communities in Harlow and the surrounding areas.

Lance McCarthy, chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
Lance McCarthy, chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

"It’s a moment to truly celebrate. This is a major milestone in the long journey to our new hospital – one of our five priorities in the trust’s strategy PAHT2030.

“And we now know with certainty that we will get the world-class healthcare facility our people deserve to work in. A new hospital that will deliver first-rate care for patients – transforming health outcomes and addressing health inequality in the growing and ageing local population.

"We will now move forward with our plans to purchase the land for the new hospital, and… will be working hard to finalise our outline business case.

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow
Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow

“Throughout, we will be working very closely with the New Hospital Programme and our stakeholders to make sure we are able to deliver the new hospital by 2030.

"Finally, we want to thank our people, our patients, our partners and our local communities for their support in getting us to this point, and for their forbearance whilst we continue to tackle the problems of our ageing hospital estate at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

“There is still a long way to go, however the light is definitely at the end of the tunnel for the Princess Alexandra Hospital and we couldn’t be more excited about the journey ahead.”

PAHT, established in April 1995, also provides outpatient and diagnostic services at the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop’s Stortford and St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping. With an annual income of around £330m, it has around 3,900 staff.

The design vision for the new Princess Alexandra Hospital
The design vision for the new Princess Alexandra Hospital

PAH has 414 general and acute beds plus a 24/7 emergency department, an intensive care unit, maternity unit and a neonatal intensive care unit.

The hospitals’ immediate catchment area includes about 350,000 people living in West Essex and East East, centred on the M11 corridor and the towns of Bishop’s Stortford, Harlow and Epping. The extended catchment area incorporates a population of up to 500,000 and includes Hoddesdon, Cheshunt and Broxbourne.



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