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Princess Alexandra Hospital opens new specialist ward

Princess Alexandra Hospital has officially opened a newly built ward, which has created more bed space to meet the growing needs of patients in Harlow Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow took an innovative approach to space creation: it needed more room, so it built upwards - and the result is the brand new, modern unit, 25 feet above the ground, built in just three months!

Image representing Princess Alexandra Hospital opens new specialist ward

Charnley ward is a 27-bed ward designed to expand capacity, ease pressure on the Emergency Department and improve patient flow. It is co-located next to operating theatres, providing a smooth transition for the patients to a ward bed following surgery.

The ward was officially opened on Friday by Harlow MP Robert Halfon, together with the Chair of Harlow Council, Cllr Maggie Hulcoop. Also joining the auspicious occasion were guests from partner organisations, patient representatives, including the Patient Panel, and staff. The ceremony was opened by the trust's recently appointed chairman Steve Clarke, followed by the Trust Chief Operating Officer Stephanie Lawton who invited guests to see for themselves the new addition to service at Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (PAHT)

It is a general surgery ward with direct access from ED, allowing specialist care and better clinical adjacencies which means faster admission and improved flow in A&E.

Charnley ward manager, Sarah Steel is delighted with the modern layout and equipment which creates an improved new space for surgical patients and her staff, She said: "As a dedicated surgical ward, it co-locates patients next to operating theatres and makes a smoother patient journey."

The ward was named by the hospital's Patient Panel after Sir John Charnley - a British orthopaedic surgeon who pioneered the first hip replacement operation.

The expected cost of the ward is £3.3m with a majority of this sum made available from a successful capital bid granted to the trust by the Department of Health.

From the executive decision to construct the ward in August, to the opening on Friday, the trust worked with construction partners, Portakabin, to build the wonderful facility in just three months.

Mr Halfon said: "It is so wonderful to be here to open an incredible new ward which has all been thanks to the non-stop work of the staff here, who battle against the odds and rise to the challenges they face and yet they have made this hospital such a special place. I'm really pleased PAHT got the capital funding from government to do this and also that the hospital received £9million for A&E. My task is to get a new hospital for Harlow, but in the meantime we're making sure with this new ward that, as they always do, patients get a service that is second to none."

Mr Clarke said: "I am honoured in my first duty as chairman to be opening this fantastic new facility that will enhance the great service our staff provide to our patients. Thank you to all staff for your support during the construction and short fit-out period in such a short time. Thank you also to our construction partner, Portakabin, for their great work in meeting time and cost specifications; and I commend this great facility to our partners in the healthcare community, and especially to our patients."

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