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11.03.19

New hospital plans to replace ‘not fit for purpose’ site backed by Essex trust

The board of an Essex trust has unanimously backed proposals for a new hospital in Harlow which could be built within the next six years and replace the old site described by the CQC as “not fit for purpose.”

The Princess Alexandra NHS Trust has backed plans to build a new hospital on the outskirts of the town and agreed the plans as its preferred way forward.

The hospital would replace the existing site which was described by the CQC as “not fit for purpose, aged and in need of repair.”

It would be built next to the M11 and a new junction being built north of the town, which has over 50,000 homes planned for the next 20 years.

The trust will still need to secure around £400m in order to build the new hospital, and consultations with businesses and residents will also need to take place, with some councillors already expressing concerns.

Lance McCarthy, chief executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted that the preferred way forward for a new hospital has been supported.

“This is an exciting time for us all and the decision means that we can move to the next stage to secure funding and consult with our patients, local people, our staff and everyone living and working in the communities we serve.

“It is ambitious and it does require both the funding which isn't yet approved and it does require us to get the relevant approvals process from the regulators. It's very ambitious, but it is achievable and it is essential that we get a new hospital for our local population.”

Councillor Joel Charles commented: “Clearly in this ward of the town I'm concerned we get the infrastructure right and I think as the board of the PAH works with the local MP, they've also got to work with the local community to understand their concerns, but this is a really positive announcement.

“It's a really good opportunity to improve healthcare in Harlow.”

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