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Harlow hospital's revamp promises improved services

Patients from across Essex and Hertfordshire will enjoy transformed access to services at Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital following a major upgrade.

Image representing Harlow hospital's revamp promises improved services

As regeneration work at the hospital enters final stages, patients and visitors will see work to replace the main entrance taking place over the next few weeks. The installation of a new door was essential to enhance patient experience on entering the building, to meet disability discrimination legislation and to improve the general environment of the 1960s built infirmary.

A temporary entrance - adjacent to the front door which has been closed - is available for mobile visitors to provide alternative access and minimise disruption to services. People with impaired mobility are being directed to the hospital's middle entrance. The alternative routes have been clearly marked, and anyone due to attend outpatients will be notified ahead of their appointments. During peak hours, volunteers and staff members are available at the front entrance to support and guide patients through the alternative access routes. In the late evening there is additional security to maintain safe access to the hospital.

Hoarding has been installed to display proposed plans for the hospital's main entrance and our commercial partners - Costa and M&S - who will provide a much needed retail service for patients, visitors and staff.

Chief Executive, Lance McCarthy, said: "Our priority is quality of care and safety of all of our patients, and our staff are fully committed to providing this; but they are working in aged infrastructure. We are committed to advancing our ambitions for a new hospital fit for the 21st century to serve our communities and we welcome the support for this provided by our local MPs, CCGs, Local Authorities and the Strategic Transformation Programme partners. In the meantime, however, we are carrying out essential work to ensure the environment is fit for purpose for all our users. We would like to thank everyone for their patience as they support us through this important work. "

Additional information for hospital users:

  • The main entrance to the Emergency Department (ED) will remain as it is and temporary hoarding will ensure this area is well lit and visible
  • There are additional disabled parking spaces.
  • The access at the main entrance will be closed from 10pm to 6am, and patients who intend to visit during these hours will be escorted from the ED entrance to the ward by security staff.

Fresh look and better service

This is part of the £1m regeneration work taking place which provides:

  • New Emergency Department and main access area of the hospital,
  • Revamped outpatient area. All the work in the outpatients area was undertaken at night, when the department is not in operation, to minimise impact on patients. Patients and visitors will notice improved accessibility, particularly for people with restricted mobility or people with buggies.
  • The upgraded waiting areas will create a more pleasant and brighter environment that includes digital messaging screens to keep patients, visitors and staff updated relating to key trust messages and announcements, as well as keeping patients informed of clinic running times.
  • At the same time, a restructure of ward configuration will enable closer work between healthcare groups and more efficient use of space, to enhance patient flow and ensure our aim to improve access to health care for our population.

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