Cost of delayed new Harlow hospital rises by £250m
General / Fri 5th Aug 2022 at 07:37am
THE cost of replacing a hospital where half of the main building is in an unacceptable condition has risen by £250m, it has emerged reports the BBC.
Work on Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital was meant to be completed by 2025. It has been delayed to 2028.
The new building, off junction 7a of the M11, was one of 40 new hospitals the government promised to build.
Michael Meredith, director of strategy and estates, said there was “a 20% increase in [the cost of] steel”.
More than half of the building at the Essex hospital is now in an unacceptable condition.
The hospital hoped to get approval for its business case and treasury agreement by the end of year. The total cost is now expected to be £850m.
Mr Meredith said: “We know the price of steel is running at approximately twice that of inflation.
“The building industry is the biggest user of steel, so that will have a massive impact of any infrastructure you build in the UK.”
The hospital has to bring in oxygen tanks as it cannot be piped into every ward because of a lack of space in the basement.
Joanne Ward, associate director of nursing, said this causes “safety issues… and an additional pressure on staff” as the tanks have to changed and checked.
The children’s emergency department was set up as a temporary building and is reaching the end of its life.
Dr Jon Keene, consultant paediatrician, said: “It is small, it is cramped, there’s not much space around the bedsides, parents have to sleep in the chair on the bedside.
“We don’t have any proper shower facilities, we don’t have any kitchen facilities, we don’t have a view outside.”
The Department of Health said it remained “committed to building 48 new hospitals” by 2030.
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If you visit our hospital regularly like I do, you will see a drainage clearance van appear on site at regular intervals. When entering the building from the staff carpark side, you sometimes get to smell the sticky stuff seeping up from the basement.
It is now time to formally ditch the plan to build a new hospital in the middle of a field and concentrate efforts to build a new one on the present site. Get the former Square site bought, build a multi storey car park on it, and build a new complex on the existing car park, taller than the present building. It must be a heck of a lot cheaper to build on a site which already has roads, water, telecoms, gas and sewer services on it than in a field some 4 miles away and easier to transition services from the old to the new buildings. With inflation set to rise 13% year on year the cost can only go one way. The present site will remain at the centre of an expanded town, with the ambulance, police and fire services nearby, the very reasons that the present was chosen back in the 1960's remain valid 60 years later.
Mr Taylor is so right to point out the logic of retaining a central site for OUR hospital. It is just stupid to stick it in a field so far out of the Town it should be serving. A staged upgrade to the existing site must be the better option.
I totally agree with Nicholas Taylor. This has gone on for so long and the new hospital date is getting further away and the cost going up.
Such a shame that this town had such a promising future and one after one slapdash government's let it all go to shit.
Given that whatever the cost, the expected delay must surely make the planners of all the new developments put everything on hold until the new hospital, or upgrade of the existing one is in place. To go ahead with any new development is madness. As it is expected that many of the residents of the new housing will be outsiders coming into the town, and will put a massive strain on the NHS in Harlow. But I doubt that the planners care one bit, as they don't listen to people's concerns.
It's disappointing to think that by the time the new hospital is built. It will likely already be running over capacity due to all the new housing developments and will not be fit for purpose. What happens to all the funds and revenues the housing developments contribute to local government for such services as schooling, medical, social development?
I agree with Nic'. There's plenty of space to develop on current pah plot , step 1 tomorrow: all car parking to the nearest multi story. Step 2. Monday 8th August 2022: start building. Delay costs lives as well as a bill that will continue to rise exponentially. The turbulence that's causing all of the problems now will simply get worse and there's every chance the 2028 date will be pushed back. Get on with development of the current site.
What do we want? Everything! When do we want it? Now!
And how do people who don't drive supposed to get to this new hospital?
And how do people who don't drive supposed to get to this new hospital?
Why put the hospital in a new location further out? PAH is in a great location for all harlow residents where it is. Just improve and do up the original 1
The new Harlow hospital in Sheering?🤪 Well smell that good country air!
The present site is no where big enough for a new hospital.
Rasp, you build up, to create a hospitals like those in Basildon and Stevenage which are ten storeys plus. If the hospital does move, the site is being earmarked for over 500 new homes, some in tower blocks of ten storeys high.
In reply to Maz's comment. Use the buses of course. Oh sorry I forgot, this is Harlow and the bus service (if service is the right word) can't deliver as it is.
Nick Taylor's suggestion is spot on, more economic and makes sense expanding into a local brown field site.
S,j That is the reason why Harlow needs a new hospital. The P,A,H does not facilitate for the residents of Harlow it also facilitates for residents from the likes of Epping, Infer, North weald Hertford, Ware, Bishop Stotford, Sawbridgeworth, The Haddams, Braughing,Broxbourne, Cheshunt,wormlyHoddeson and even parts of London etc,etc and the current hospital is not big enough to deal with that amount of capacity. So yes, we do need a new hospital.
P,S in my opinion. Once the old the Hospital has been relocated, the site which the current hospital is located on should be a new shopping precinct or a amusement park.wjich the likes of Stevenage, Milton Keynes, Borehamwood and Hatfield have already.
Making the decision to move off site was certainly not easy and it took many months of work to understand the impact on our patients and people as well as the true cost. The impact of building on the existing site would be: it would take about 3-4 years longer; would have a significant impact on our patients and staff (being cared for or working on building site for nine years); we would never get to the perfect solution – we would always need to compromise on the design; and we would have to keep moving services to accommodate the building programme e.g. we will need to demolish buildings to allow new ones to be built and we would have to accommodate the service during the transition. You can see that this would be a time consuming and complex task. All of this is avoided building on a green field site.
But at what extra cost Michael? As for understanding the impact on patients and people, was a survey ever carried out? What about the hundreds of staff living in homes around the hospital, how do they feel about having to travel to work some three miles away in the early morning and evening. It was said at the time that a new hospital on a new site could be opened a year earlier (in 2025 instead of 2026) than if it remained on the old site, now you are saying 3 to 4 years. You then say building work will take 9 years, well how can that possibly be the case in view of the above?. The simple fact is, the site has not even been bought, there is no design agreed as I understand it and as for the money, well I think that in the present crisis, this will not be forthcoming any time soon. Every month there is a delay just adds to the cost. I was at the public meeting when it was decided to go with the preferred option, I think the time has come when the board need to get back to plan B and come up with solutions to overcome problems building on the present site. Buy the former Square site, put a multi storey car park on it and build upwards on the existing car park.
I cannot abide with Nick's ambitions for the town if they include building yet more multistorey car parks (as if we don't have enough already), and involves giving up on the former Square site as a live music venue - for social, environmental and economic reasons. The school of thought around a health campus is perfectly valid, hospitals shouldn't be the sole building where health is contained to (health is promoted or degraded across the entire built environment, including pollution from road traffic and mould on walls in crowded homes...). The health campus recognises this and there have been several consultation events setting out it's vision. Building up is ignoring the wholisitc nature of health and social care, and reassembles more of hospital building to park the sick and ill (clearly Nick is quite infatuated by multistorey car parks), rather than a building which is a hub for health and social care in the community. I believe it would work out more expensive to use the existing site, as developers have landbanked assets like the former Square site and the former Occasio House, artificially pushing up land prices in that area. We can't be so possessive over the hospital when it serves more people outside of Harlow than within it, we should however be very proud of our hospital and the amazing staff who do such phenomenal work in terrible conditions.
There is a desperate need for a new hospital. There is probably a need to replace existing management. Harlow is a bit of a dump. Sorry folks but it is. The hospital isn't just for Harlow citizens, its for those in Bishop's Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and other Hertfordshire towns. The site will be sold for a significant amount so will make a contribution towards the new hospital. There needs to be a whole new design, patients shouldn't be wheeled down corridors with visitors, reception admittance should be controlled, communications improved, records updated, patient concerns really taken into consideration, training plans improved, holistic patient centric services, staffing levels addressed, retention of key british staff, joined up appointments process, etc.
Silly waste of time appointments such as a telephone call for a hearing consult should be escalated. New telephone systems that are implemented without testing is a waste of our money and someone should be accountable, better telephone communications to allow patients to cancel or change appointments or find out how patients are. Maps of the hospital for people to find their way around not stuck around the corner of an unmanned reception desk.
This post very late in the day but posted for future reference. In response to Jake, the town centre only has three multi storey car parks, one of these is only two storeys a fourth will make very little difference when you consider that plans for the future of the Town Centre include over a dozen huge flat blocks, one 23 storeys high housing thousands of residents. Many of these will have no car parking spaces and indeed at least two developers have had to buy spaces in the public car parks in order to get planning permission. The cost of buying the former Square site is just a drop in the ocean when compared with the overall cost of a new hospital as is the sale of the present site. Every month there are further delays just adds millions to the cost of a new hospital. Building a campus gets years and years further away. We need a new hospital now, in the centre of the hospital catchment area, completed before thousands of new homes are built just across Harlow's borders. Just three other points to consider, the proposed new site is partially on a flood plain, it has a large gas main running through it and being close to the M11 patients and visitors will be subject to road traffic noise and pollution.