Letter to Editor: The long road to the new hospital

Health / Tue 25th Jul 2023 at 08:05am

Sir, The cover of the latest Harlow Times shows a remarkably accurate impression (attached) of one facet of the legendary new replacement for Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH). 

The foreground shows what looks like an old man wheeling someone in a wheelchair to the new PAH.  The pathway is long and stretched out before them – and who knows how many steps they have taken to get to that point? 

A perfect analogy of the journey proposed to the planned location of the new PAH; so far from the five minute walk from Harlow Town Centre, as at present.

I am reminded of the long time advert on the London underground for Start-rite shoes (also attached).   This shows a long term walking journey to some hoped for future for the children. 

I respectfully suggest to the artist that they call the illustration “end-in-sight?”, with its hint of what the future actually will be, and whether it will come in time! 

Cliff Moore

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7 Comments for Letter to Editor: The long road to the new hospital:

Nicholas Taylor
2023-07-25 08:25:42

One of the most compelling reasons for not building a new hospital where planned is the fact that dozens if not hundreds of staff live within a 5 minute walk of PAH. Building a new hospital in the middle of a field where there are no homes for staff to occupy will either mean they have to travel by car or take the chance that a bus turns up on time for the start of their shift. I firmly believe this may make it more difficult to hire and retain staff. Lets not forget that this was the PAH boards preferred option, boasting that it would be open a year earlier (2025) than if it remained on the present site.

Ian McNaught
2023-07-25 09:45:11

I am sorry to have to ask but where is the New Hospital to be built?

Nicholas Taylor
2023-07-25 10:08:24

Ian, close to the new Junction 7a, just outside of Harlow.

Guy Flegman
2023-07-25 11:28:10

A cynical person might think they are moving the hospital out of town so they can make more money from parking charges, and yes NHS workers often have to pay the parking charges. More staff to park more patients to park, more money. Lovely jubly

2023-07-25 13:20:40

Nicholas, by the amount of staff car parking at PAH I doubt hundreds are a 5 min walk away. Car parking at the new hospital must improve on the current total chaos at PAH.

David Forman
2023-07-25 17:46:56

The new PAH hospital will be built to a standard design known as NHP 2.0. Thus was originally intended to be complete by the end of 2022, but due due to shortage of technical staff the NHP 2.0 design will be ready by end of May 2024. I wouldn't take it for gospel that what you see in Harlow Times is what is built. The then Health Secretary Steve Barclay' oral statement to Parliament on 25 May said: "By embracing Modern Methods of Construction we will speed up the construction phase and in addition, accelerate Treasury and other government assurance processes." See oral statement at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/health-and-social-care-secretary-oral-statement-on-nhp

Nicholas Taylor
2023-07-26 13:42:33

Barry, there are some 3600 employees at the hospital, many living in flats such as Mitre House and Rank House nearby and in many nearby houses now converted to homes in multiple occupation. As for building using modern methods of construction, well that is half of the problem and why so called buildings constructed in the 1960's are now having to be demolished.

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