Princess Alexandra Hospital chiefs promise bigger A and E in new build (but delays continue)

Health / Fri 10th Dec 2021 at 09:56am

A NEW hospital proposed outside Harlow to replace Princess Alexandra will have an even bigger emergency department, health chiefs have said weeks after a damning inspection report highlighted the A&E struggling under pressure.

Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust chiefs told Epping Forest District Council the new hospital would have 76 assessment beds in the emergency department compared with 27 in the current building.

Overall, the new hospital would see a 10 per cent increase in beds, with room for a further expansion of 20 per cent in the future, the executives said at a meeting on December 7th.

But any further progress has been delayed until the new year, as the trust waits for a government review to be completed.

This comes after the Care Quality Commission revealed inspectors had to intervene in the current emergency department to ensure ill patients waiting in corridors received care.

Director of strategy and estates Michael Meredith said the ten per cent expansion was based on detailed modelling, but the trust has also allowed space for a further increase to accommodate for future growth.

He told the meeting: “We can expand that significantly, we can add another 20 per cent of beds without having any impact on the way the hospital runs or works.

“That would require more capital at a later date, but again our balance is about getting enough money now to get funded.”

Mr Meredith also said clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) would receive extra funding in the future to cope with a growing population.

The design brief for the hospital has been completed and accommodation for overnight doctors had been incorporated into the design.

But further progress has been delayed until the government has finished a “design conversion review”.

This review aims to promote similar design and construction methods across the eight sites that form the government’s New Hospital Programme, according to a council statement.

Councillors also challenged the executives over the recent CQC inspection of the current hospital, which was published earlier this month.

The report rated Princess Alexandra’s emergency department “inadequate” and said several incidents were escalated by inspectors to ensure patients received care, including one which was “potentially life threatening”.

At the council meeting, Chief Operating Officer Stephanie Lawton said: “If the CQC came in tomorrow what would they see? 

“They would absolutely see our teams providing the safest, most high quality care that they can possibly provide under the circumstances of a busy and pressurised emergency department and those pressures have continued since the CQC came to visit us.”

The new hospital is planned for close to Junction 7a of the M11.

The meeting can be viewed below.

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2 Comments for Princess Alexandra Hospital chiefs promise bigger A and E in new build (but delays continue):

2021-12-10 16:48:52

If the new hospital is built, please make sure there are enough parking spaces for staff and visitors!

2021-12-10 17:27:32

Put this hospital right first. I've questioned how you afford more staff in the new hospital when you can't afford them now. Also use what's available to you now-open ALL wards. This hospital serves too wide an area which is why it's overloaded. And the rules should apply to everyone including celebrities- Jodie Marsh was allowed to stay with her partner in the A+E department at the same my 82 year old father in law had to attend on his own after security told his son he couldn't accompany him. A workman is only as good as his tools the same as the hospital staff can only do their best with what's available to them. Cut them some slack, look at them they deserve more than you're giving them especially given their commitment during the pandemic.

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