About us

our staff

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust provides a full range of general acute, outpatient and diagnostic services at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop’s Stortford, and St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping. 

We employ 3,500 staff and serve a local population of around 350,000 people living in west Essex and east Hertfordshire, centred on the M11 corridor and the towns of Harlow, Bishop’s Stortford and Epping. Our extended catchment area incorporates a population of up to 500,000 and includes the areas of Hoddesdon, Cheshunt and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire.

In October 2019, the Government announced that we are to receive funding to rebuild a new hospital in Harlow for our patients, community and people. 

The details around the funding and the timeframe are currently being finalised and we are completing our business case for the new hospital. We are continuing to develop the essential business case plans to take this amazing change forward.

Our objectives

Our CQC ratings for effectiveness, caring and well-led are Good, with an overall rating of Requires Improvement. We have reviewed our objectives to ensure that we continue to work consistently to improve the experience for our patients, visitors and people:

Our patients

We will continue to enhance the quality of care we provide for our patients, thereby improving our CQC rating.

Our people

We will support our people to deliver high quality care within a culture that improves engagement, recruitment and retention, with this reflected in our staff survey results.

Our performance

We will meet and achieve our performance targets, covering national and local operational, quality and workforce indicators.

Our places

We will maintain the safety and improve the quality and appearance of our places. We will finalise our business case to rebuild a new hospital for the patients and people we care for. Our projects will be aligned with the development of the One Health and Care Partnership in west Essex, working together as one to provide the best possible care and support for people when they need it.

Our pounds

We will manage our pounds effectively to achieve our agreed financial control total for 2020-21.

Vision and values

Our vision is to be an excellent provider of integrated acute care services. Our values guide us: 


Respectful - treating others as we would wish to be treated

We are welcoming and polite, valuing and supporting our colleagues and celebrating our achievements. We maintain patients’ dignity and recognise and respect our differences.


Caring – always putting patients first

We are kind and compassionate, making sure patient safety is at the centre of everything we do. We show empathy, caring for every patient as an individual and listening and responding to the views of patients and their carers. 


Responsible - doing what we say we're going to do

We are professional, and maintain the highest standards of behaviours and accountability, working as a team and communicating openly and honestly. We lead by example, speaking up if we see that our values are not being displayed.


Committed - striving to be the best

We strive for excellence, constantly seeking to improve quality and efficiency. We innovate and adopt best practice in our day-to-day activities to achieve our goals and improve our skills and knowledge

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to eliminating discrimination and promoting equality and diversity in everything we do. The service we provide is fair, accessible and appropriate for our patients, their carers and our visitors.

We recognise that, as a prominent employer and service provider in west Essex and Hertfordshire, we have an important role to play in our wider community. We draw on our diverse staff, their backgrounds and their varied life experiences to help us build and sustain an inclusive environment to work and receive care.

What do we mean by equality?

The Equality Act 2010 states that NHS organisations have a 'general equality duty' to promote equality. They must:

  • Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it
  • The general equality duty covers the following protected characteristics:
    • Age
    • Disability
    • Gender reassignment
    • Marriage and civil partnership
    • Pregnancy and maternity
    • Race - this includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
    • Religion or belief
    • Sex
    • Sexual orientation

You can read more about the Equality Act 2010 here.


Modern slavery statement 2020-21

Please refer to our modern slavery statement here.


Equality, diversity and inclusion statement

Please refer to our equality, diversity and inclusion statement here.

You can also read our equality delivery system 2 document (2017) here.

Gender pay gap reports

Gender pay gap report - 2019

Gender pay gap report - 2020

Gender pay gap report - 2021


Workforce reports

Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) report - 2019

Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) report - 2020

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report - 2019

Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) report - 2020


The Princess Alexandra Hospitals’ Charity

The Princess Alexandra Hospitals’ Charity works to enhance the experience of our patients, visitors and people. Your generous donations help us to purchase specialist equipment, improve facilities, invest in research and much more at The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop’s Stortford, and St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping. Charitable funds enable us to support projects which are not achievable within government funding.

The charity raises money to improve the wellbeing and hospital experience for thousands of patients, visitors and people every year. Donations are often made by those who wish to say thank you for the care and treatment they receive or in memory of a loved one. By supporting the charity, you will be helping to enhance services for the future.

Patient experience

patient in bed

We want you to have an outstanding experience every time you come to our hospital, however we acknowledge that we don't always get things right. That's why our patient experience team is here to help.

We work with you to find positive ways to solve your problems. When possible, we will try to resolve the problem on the spot with the help and support of teams across the trust.

Our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) team are your first point of contact if you have any feedback, queries or concerns about services provided by the hospital.

What do we do?

  • We provide a friendly, easy to access and confidential service to help patients, families and carers
  • We give you on-the-spot advice and information if you have queries or difficulties
  • We will listen to your concerns and help you find ways to resolve them.
  • We report your feedback and concerns to the board of directors to help us improve our services
  • We act as a point of contact for anyone wishing to get advice and information about the services we provide

Sometimes, problems cannot be solved straight away but we will try our best to help you to resolve your issue or refer you to the appropriate person.

To compliment the hospital or a member of staff

Our staff are the most important resource we have to help us deliver care which is centred around you, your family and carers. So, while we want to know when things are not working, we also want to hear from you when someone goes the extra mile to provide outstanding care.

Please call us on 01279 827084 or email: paht.compliments@nhs.net.

To speak about an issue or complaint

To ensure we can fix problems early on and stop the problems getting worse, please call our patient experience team on 01279 827211 or email paht.pals@nhs.net.

Please note we are available from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. You can also call in advance and make an appointment to see a member of the team.

If your concern cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, or you want an official investigation to be carried out and to receive a formal reply from the trust, you will need to go through the formal complaints process. In those circumstances:

  • We will explain everything you need to know about the complaints process
  • We can help you plan your next steps in getting your complaint resolved 
  • We will talk to senior staff or managers on your behalf and arrange a meeting for you
  • We can refer you to external organisations including the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

Inpatient comment:

Everyone offered words of such reassurance and kindness. I felt so cared for and the communication with me at all times was fantastic.