Government announces that Harlow is set to get a “fully-funded” new hospital with construction to start in 2025

Health / Thu 25th May 2023 at 01:41pm

AFTER a decade of lobbying from Robert Halfon MP and a pledge at the last General Election, the Government has today confirmed Harlow’s new hospital will be built, with construction starting in 2025. 

The new high-tech health campus, backed by hundreds of millions of Government investment, will be constructed using the latest technologies to ensure that Harlow has one of the best new hospitals in the country.

Announcing the news in the House of Commons today, Health Secretary Steve Barclay said:

“Today’s announcement confirms these schemes will proceed and will be fully funded. By embracing modern methods of construction, we will massively speed up the construction phase.”

The announcement has not referred to where the hospital might be. YH understands the hospital bosses had identified an area near to Junction 7a of the M11.

It is also unclear at this point, whether it will be the state of the art hospital they planned or a more modest version. Again, there were reports of a form of “dropped-in” building. YH will try and clear this up.

Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon, has championed the campaign for the new Harlow hospital for over a decade – described by one former Health Minister as, what “may be a record in the House of Commons”, Mr Halfon has:

  • Asked over 45 questions in the House of Commons
  • Held 5 Parliamentary Debates
  • Brought 6 health Ministers and the former Prime Minister to visit PAH
  • Tabled 11 Parliamentary Motions
  • Hosted dozens of meetings with Government Ministers and the Prime Minister

Commenting on the announcement, Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon, said: “Today is an historic day for Harlow as our new hospital is confirmed with its start date for construction works to begin. Most fair-minded people will understand that the project was delayed due to the severe impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, but I have always pledged to protect our NHS and have campaigned tirelessly in Parliament for over a decade to secure a new Harlow hospital. I made this pledge at the 2019 General Election, and today, the Government has confirmed the funding, the construction start date and the construction method. 

“This puts to bed any suggestion that Harlow is not getting a new hospital and I hope that all those who have doubted this investment, will now be welcoming this news – which shows that we are building an even better Harlow and protecting our NHS. 

“I want to pay tribute to everyone who has worked so hard alongside me to secure Harlow’s new hospital, including Harlow Council and Essex Council, my neighbouring MPs, Julie Marson and Dame Eleanor Laing, and all of the incredible staff at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. 

“I have nothing but huge admiration for everyone who works at PAH: the hospital leadership, consultants, doctors, nurses, midwives, porters, cleaners, admin and ancillary staff who work tirelessly to care for our town. I am so pleased that their endless hard work has paid off and we will see a new state-of-the-art hospital health campus in Harlow to support their work in just a few years time.

“I will continue to work hard to drive this development forward and to ensure that Harlow’s new hospital campus delivers exactly what is needed for our town.”

Lance McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust, said: 

“I am delighted at today’s news reconfirming that there will be a new hospital for Harlow. Our many years of hard work and preparation have paid off, and we can push ahead with our new hospital with certainty and confidence. My personal thanks go to Robert Halfon MP for his tireless work, drive and support over many years to make this a reality.”

Since 2010, Robert has secured over £12 million of cash injections from the Government to massively improve the facilities at the Princess Alexandra, but has always campaigned for a long-term solution.

The hospital was pledged at the 2019 General Election and confirmed in the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, which stated that “a new integrated, high-tech healthcare campus to replace the ageing Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow” will be built

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29 Comments for Government announces that Harlow is set to get a “fully-funded” new hospital with construction to start in 2025:

Alderman Durcan
2023-05-25 13:49:27

Hang on a commitment to build ,starting in 2 years time… So where actually at best guess and without any delays moving around 2028. Why wait 2 years just to put the first brick down. Unbelievable…again

2023-05-25 13:54:18

To avoid explaining , yet again, why it hasn't happened before the next election.

James Leppard
2023-05-25 14:04:09

I thought Harlow Labour were always saying that there wouldn’t be a new hospital and that it was pure fiction. Yes, as usual, they are wrong yet again as today’s fully funded commitment shows. Furthermore, when it comes to construction, we won’t even bother to examine their woeful council house building record during the decade they were in administration. It seems the sum total of their wonderful town centre regeneration can be summed up by a few outdoor concrete table tennis tables and new weed beds in Market Square! Clearly, construction is not one of their stronger attributes.

Michael Hardware
2023-05-25 14:16:03

Alderman Durcan, you are unbelievable: you are well aware that it is not a case of turning up tomorrow with a brickie and building a hospital! The land has to be purchased, the designs finalised, a planning application submitted, stakeholders and the community consulted, and then significant infrastructre has to be created before the buildings themselves can be constructed.

Tony Edwards
2023-05-25 14:17:26

So, surprise surprise, we will go into yet another general election with nothing more than the "promise" of a new hospital. We were originally told by Robert Halfon in 2019 that the hospital would be built by 2025!

2023-05-25 14:22:38

@Alderman Durcan it'll likely take 18 months to fully plan the new hospital, firstly the local authority will have to procure a building contractor then the initial design will be deemed too expensive, then we'll see a series of value engineering, and then a huge amount of debating............aaaannnnnddddd then after all that time we'll be ready to build.

Peter Henegan
2023-05-25 14:34:41

So will it be Harlow or Epping Forest getting a new hospital? How can you announce that construction will start in 2025 when you don't even know where it will be. Or is it the case that they do know where it will be but for some reason they are scared to tell us. I think we are due some truths, both us potential patients and the many workers who can currently walk to their job. Sorry for my cynicism, I should be enthused but this still smacks of politics

2023-05-25 14:36:56

Wow, these kind of posts are like a honeypot for you political school kids! Yea yea, you keep up about squibbling about your party Vs my party and let the public get on with it. What happened to the zero tolerance towards bullying and protecting the counsellors at all cost. A total joke! You cannot even respect yourselves!

Has the electorate heard it all before?
2023-05-25 14:48:30


Matthew Gillman
2023-05-25 14:53:53

Erm... isn't this good news?

gary roberts
2023-05-25 15:33:31

I predict an election this year: Why? Well this announcement has been made every year since 2010 and just before an election by the Conservative party. Mr. Halfon smiles for the camera's and local media promising this time it is for real and apparently fully funded by his government. But the questions keep coming: Where will it be in Harlow or will it be near a motorway just south of Junction 7a? When will it be completed? Will it be fully staffed? Will it be part of the NHS or privately owned and leased back? Will it be a hospital? Mr. Halfon can smile for now but do you believe it? Will you vote again on a promise? I wont hopefully be here to see another promise broken!

Councillor Nick Churchill
2023-05-25 15:38:09

The most unbelievable thing in this comments thread is Councillor Durcan giving himself the title Alderman. That title in the UK is only awarded by city or borough councils and is an honorary title given by the city or borough in recognition of outstanding service as a councillor, more often than not it is awarded after the councillor has stepped down from his/her elected role, the awarding of such a title does require a democratic vote by all other councillors in the city or borough.. District councils such as Harlow CANNOT create Aldermen. So either Councillor Durcan is deliberately insulting Aldermen and that title by claiming he is something that he is obviously not. Using this self aggrandisement in an attempt to deflect attention to his only recent claim to fame that he wasted vast sums of taxpayers money on consultants for regeneration projects that never even came close to being started (unless he wants to take ownership of all the concrete chess and table tennis tables in the market square) or maybe he is indicating that he will be stepping down from his seat, the title is usually given to retired councillors as I have already said.

James Leppard
2023-05-25 16:00:54

Dear Councillor Edwards, it is not like you to miss a somewhat relevant factor that occurred after 2019, as Robert Halfon MP has alluded to, namely: The COVID Pandemic. It did tend to have something of an impact.

T Davies
2023-05-25 16:06:51

If the land hasn’t even been purchased yet (as stated by Michael Hardware) the chances are it won’t start in two years

Tony Edwards
2023-05-25 17:09:04

Dear Councillor Leppard, fully appreciate the impact of Covid - however as you are aware what held up this scheme was the Treasury agreeing to the funding. Like you, I hope that Harlow will get a new hospital, Indeed when a non voting Member of the Essex Health Scrutiny Committee I strongly advocated for it. But I cannot accept "promises of jam tomorrow " yet again spun as "facts". When the building work actually starts I will be among the first to celebrate. Whichever political party is in power.

James Leppard
2023-05-25 17:21:25

Councillor Edwards. Fair enough.

Floppy finn
2023-05-25 18:05:55

And yet ppl are still unhappy & moaning at this good news

Alderman Durcan
2023-05-25 19:53:47

We dare to differ.How many false statements have been made in the past about funding.

2023-05-25 20:29:29

Politicians best of the best, look at the squabbling in this thread. No wonder turn out is < 30% they do not represent most people A new hospital should be up and running by now, only a government would be that poor at delivery that 4 years later it has not happened. Do not blame covid it was a scam

2023-05-25 20:30:23

Seriously if you believe a word a Tory says after all lies and broken promises then you need a doctor. It will never happen this hospital or a if it does it won't be what they say it will be.

Cllr James Griggs
2023-05-25 22:58:55

Cllr Churchill would know, if he bothered to attend meetings, that Cllr Durcan was awarded the title Alderman by Essex County Council (not a city or borough, so another error by Cllr Churchill) some months ago and the official presentation was made to him this very evening by the outgoing Chair of ECC. Perhaps he will now admit his is wrong, correct the record, withdraw his remarks and instead congratulate Alderman Durcan rather than make ill-informed, unpleasant, insulting and factually inaccurate assertions.

2023-05-26 04:24:58

Oh look. Something about politicians and Durcan shows up as expected to complain and get all sparky about it. Why are you silent on all the other news reported here Durcan? Or do you only do what all politicians do and only bother with things that interest or impact you personally?

Trevor PYLE
2023-05-26 07:35:04

My concern is that when the plan for a new hospital were originally announced it said that the catchment area would be three times that of PAH, yet would have fewer beds. Can at least one of those celebrating a new hospital explain how this will work?

2023-05-26 07:53:51

I smell an election. Warning bulls@#t ahead

2023-05-26 09:14:59

What is going to happen to the lod Hospital?

2023-05-26 09:48:09

The most unbelievable thing in this comments thread is Councillor Churchill. Oh dear.

Kim Oconnor
2023-05-26 10:05:54

Dear oh dear. Does any body else think that 4 years is long enough to wait for a new hospital . Theses plans should of been signed and sealed by now. I feel an election coming on.

Mike Smith
2023-05-26 10:57:36

I've lost count how many times the Government have announced this over the last few years. I will believe it when I see it. No doubt there will be more delays and many more announcements!

Mark Gough
2023-05-29 00:25:06

Great announcement and everybody should welcome it. However we have heard it several times before. I don't need to see bricks, I would be happy to see a program with dates so we can check progress - such as land purchased, design approved, planning application submitted and so on. I'm especially pleased for Lance and his team at PAH - cos without him we'd have had more acting CEOs passing through. Instead in Lance we have a very dedicated and focused guy at the helm. Mark Gough Reform UK

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