PAH: Funding for new hospital likely to be announced in autumn says hospital boss

By Local Democracy Reporter
Piers Meyler

THE funding go ahead for a new hospital in Harlow is likely to be announced in the autumn statement, the boss of Princess Alexandra Hospital has said.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) board gave the preferred go ahead for a new general hospital on green belt land close to the new M11 7a junction at a key meeting yesterday (March 10).

The hospital is now compiling a strategic business case ahead of a decision from the government to earmark funding towards what could cost around £400m.

All being well it could be opened in five and a half years.

The hospital CEO Lance McCarthy: “We have lots of hurdles it was a significant milestone yesterday.

“While we haven’t got funding approved and while we can’t go to consultation until we get dispensation from that or get funding, we had to go through this process and agree a preferred way forward to get to that stage.”

The hospital is yet to fully draw up where the costings will come from. Some will come from the sale of the current site for as many as 650 homes – a deal worth potentially £40m.

There will also be a stream from section 106 developer money. The remainder will come from a source of private funding.

Mr McCarthy added: “There is a very clear process in terms of an approval process. We still have loads of hurdles to jump through for the approval process.

“The funding stream is part of that. We are in constant dialogue with NHS improvement and NHS England and the department of health and they are in constant dialogue with the Treasury.

“HM Treasury are aware of the scheme for a new hospital and a need for it.

“The government spending review happens about now and into the summer and we know PAH capital requirement will be discussed as part of the government spending review, but it will dependent on how much money is in the country and where the priority of health against everything else is and where the priority of PAH is in the health pot.

“But we are getting really positive support from our regulators and they wouldn’t be supporting us as much or encouraging us to continue work at the speed we are working if we didn’t stand a possibility of getting it.”

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