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Work not expected to begin on new Princess Alexandra Hospital until 2027 – TWO YEARS later than Hertford and Stortford MP Julie Marson said it would start





Work on a new health campus to replace Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital is now not expected to begin until 2027 – two years after Bishop’s Stortford’s Conservative MP claimed construction would commence.

In May last year, following a Government announcement of “full funding” for the project, Julie Marson said that building would start in 2025 and be completed by 2028.

She trumpeted: “The Princess Alexandra Hospital will be rebuilt using a standardised hospital blueprint, whilst also making sure it is tailored to local needs. This ensures value for the taxpayer and that work on the hospital can begin as soon as 2025, ready for its completion in 2028.”

Hertford and Stortford MP Julie Marson
Hertford and Stortford MP Julie Marson

The scheme is part of the New Hospital Programme (NHP), committing the Conservatives to build 40 new hospitals in England by 2030.

After the Government announcement 10 months ago, the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) said it would be moving ahead with purchase of land for the new hospital and completing the outline business case.

At the same time, it said, the NHP was developing a framework for the building of all the new hospitals in the national programme, including design, procurement of contractors and how to best use modern methods of construction so the new hospitals could be built faster, better and more efficiently.

New Princess Alexandra Hospital design
New Princess Alexandra Hospital design

But this week, bosses confirmed neither the land sale nor the business case have been completed – and the NHP is yet to issue a schedule.

The Government first promised a new hospital for Harlow in 2019 – before Mrs Marson was elected in December that year – to deliver state-of-the-art facilities for up to 500,000 people, including the communities in Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and Stansted.

The cost of replacing dilapidated and outdated facilities at PAH, freeing the 1960s site in the centre of Harlow for new homes by building close to M11 Junction 7a at Sheering, has been estimated at £850m.

Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates at PAHT, updated the Indie: “We are in discussions with the landowners and are working with the national New Hospital Programme team as they finalise the national schedule for the programme.

Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

“We are currently finalising our new hospital outline business case in line with revised guidance from the New Hospital Programme team for New Hospital 2.0.”

When asked if PAHT had been told where its plans sat in the NHP timeline and if a new hospital was still on course to be delivered by 2030, he replied: “A schedule has not yet been issued by the New Hospital team. We understand that building is anticipated to start in 2027.”

The Indie has invited Mrs Marson to comment.



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