Get involved

Volunteer with us

Our wonderful volunteers offer invaluable support to our people, patients and visitors. 

We have over 180 volunteers in a variety of roles ranging from meeting and greeting our patients and visitors at the front of the hospital to supporting in the catheterisation laboratory (an examination room with diagnostic imaging equipment to see abnormalities in the heart). 

Please email for more information on volunteering.

Volunteer with us


Volunteers provide a vital function at Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust supporting clinical staff in a variety of ways and helping with patients and visitors.

The trust currently has 120 volunteers across its three sites: at its Harlow hospital, at St Margaret's Hospital in Epping and the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishops Stortford. The volunteers perform a variety of duties, including running stroke patient support groups in Epping, as well as working in admin, A&E, pathology, biochemistry, maternity, children's departments, and catering. There are also students from Harlow, Hertford regional and Epping colleges committing over six months volunteering for their Health and Social Care courses. Voluntary Services also include the Patient Panel and the Chaplaincy.

Please email for more information.


Take part in research

The Government wishes to see a dramatic and sustained improvement in the performance of providers of NHS services in initiating and delivering clinical research.

The aim is to increase the number of patients who have the opportunity to participate in research and to enhance the nation's attractiveness as a host for research.

The Government's Plan for Growth, published in March 2011, announced the transformation of incentives at local level for efficiency in initiation and delivery of research.

From July 2013 for clinical trials, providers of NHS services are required to publish information on recruitment to clinical trials and delivery to time and to target for commercial clinical trials.

R & D Health Check 2017-2018 Image



2017-18 Performance in Delivering[pdf] 361KB   

2017-18 Performance in Initiating [pdf] 29KB                                               

Q1-2018-19 Performance in Delivering  [pdf] 105KB

Q1-2018-19_Performance in Initiating [pdf] 114KB

Q2-2018-19 Performance in Delivering.pdf [pdf] 104KB

Q2-2018-19 Performance in Initiating [pdf] 20KB

Q3-2018-19 Performance in Delivering [pdf] 156KB

Q3-2018-19 Performance in Initiating [pdf] 204KB

Q4-2018-19 Performance in Delivering  [pdf] 151KB

Q4-2018-19 Performance in Initiating [pdf] 187KB


The Princess Alexandra Hopsitals Charity

We hold a number of charitable fundraisers throughout the year; you can get involved by attending, contributing to and supporting these events.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital's Charity (registered charity no. 1054745) supports patients, staff and visitors at the trust. Our charity is dedicated to enhancing patient care, purchasing special equipment, improving facilities and investing in vital research which is beyond the scope or limits of the NHS.

Our charity supports thousands of patients, staff and visitors every year. Donations are sometimes made as a 'thank you' to staff, in memory of a loved one or simply to acknowledge excellent service. By supporting our charity, you will be helping to enhance services for future generations.

You can find more information on our fundraisers and donate to the charity via our JustGiving page.

If you would like to find out more about the work we are doing please take a look at our Twitter and Facebook page.


The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust - Breast Unit at St Margaret's Hospital

The Breast Unit is one of the largest breast cancer clinical trials facilities in Hertfordshire, Essex and North London. The charity in has raised over £3 million, which has been used to purchase specialist equipment, introduce new initiatives and fund further research into the breast cancer. We continue to raise money for breast cancer clinical trials in order that we can improve understanding and help find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of breast cancer.

We are based at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow and St Margaret's Hospital, Epping where approximately 350 new patients are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Of these, 10% would benefit from treatments that are not standard on the NHS. The charity hopes to fund these treatment options and train specialists in providing the new treatments. The charity wishes to raise sufficient funds to build a central cancer unit covering diagnosis and treatment to ensure continuity in care. We bid nationally to be one of the main centres for conducting breast cancer trials and for the patients in the local area. This means that they could have access to investigational medicines that previously were only available when participating in clinical trials in hospitals based in central London.

Find out more about the Breast unit charity at St Margaret's.

Patient Panel

Your experience is our responsibility, whether that is as a patient, carer or family member. How we respond to your experience to make things better is just as important, so that we can make services better and ensure we do not repeat mistakes, but learn from them.

Our Patient Panel was established in 2013 specifically to support the hospital to improve services and is chaired by Ann Nutt.

Members of the panel are local people who live in West Essex and have been patients at PAHT. They have a positive interest in improving our services and experiences for our patients.

You can contact them using the details below. Please be aware the Patient Panel are not at the hospital every day, and your main point of contact should be the PALS service.

Telephone (outgoing telephone number only): 01279 827084


How the team support us

The panel have supported many different teams and projects across the hospital, including:

  • Being part of our Quality and Safety committee
  • Equality and diversity initiatives
  • Improving medicine management
  • Reviewing and approving patient information
  • Complaints (reviews)
  • Nutrition and hydration projects
  • End of life care
  • Discharging patients from hospital
  • Being part of our Patient Safety Committee
  • Infection, prevention and control practices
  • Digital technology
  • Supporting younger patients attending our hospital
  • Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) audits
  • New hospital developments
  • Improving our telephone system
  • Young people with additional needs
  • Enhancing cancer services

Patient Panel proudest moments

  • Hosting informative conferences on a varied range of topics including infection, prevention and control, discharging patients from hospital, our cancer services and managing diabetes.
  • Presenting and highlighting their work to national NHS groups and the East of England consultants group.
  • Awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Services – a first for an NHS voluntary services group.
  • Rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in November 2021.
  • Diane Deane-Bowers, vice chair of the Patient Panel, taking part in the Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) panel discussion and featuring in their patient representative video (below).

How to join the team

If you are interested in joining our Patient Panel, please contact for further information.

Annual Reports

Patient Panel Annual Report 2018-19

Patient Panel Annual Report 2019-2020

Patient Panel Annual Report 2020-21

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.