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Harlow needs new hospital in face of 51,000 extra homes

Health / Wed 21st Mar 2018 at 10:20am

Lance M

THE chief executive of Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow says a new hospital is needed for the town to keep up with its housing and population growth.

Lance McCarthy, the trust’s chief executive is set to meet NHS officials in May for formal permission to develop an outline business case to replace the outdated hospital, which needs almost £100m investment to maintain current standards over the next decade.

An additional £50m is thought to be needed to make the improvements necessary to refurbish wards and to bring the hospital up to modern standards.

He said: “The environment doesn’t help. We are working out of original 1960s buildings and infrastructure that causes us significant problems on a regular basis.

“It is becoming increasingly hard to maintain and increasingly hard for us to provide modern services in a building that wasn’t designed for the volume and type of care we are providing.

“If we project ahead, we need a new hospital to manage care into the future.”

The hospital has identified £27 million worth or improvements that are required over the next five years which increases to £90 million over the next decade.

Mr McCarthy added: “That is just to stay still and then we need another £50 million to refurbish wards and bring the hospital up to modern standards.

“With those figures you are looking at building a new hospital.

“We’ve submitted a strategic outline case to the regulator NHS Improvement that is with the Department of Health and we are meeting them at the end of the May to hopefully get formal approval to develop an outline business case – a detailed business case for a new hospital.”

In the meantime, the population of Harlow and the surrounding areas are expected to increase dramatically over the next 15 years.

“We are really clear we need it because of current environmental issues and concerns and to future proof and to provide the best care we can,” Mr McCarthy added.

“We are working really closely with councils around their housing plans. The five or six boroughs we serve are set to have 51,000 new homes by 2033.

“That’s a lot of extra people. We are working closely with them to understand that and the type of patient and demographic who will move in.”

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