Council Leaders appeal to NHS to support Princess Alexandra Hospital

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Council Leaders appeal to NHS leaders to support Princess Alexandra Hospital as part of national ‘Success Regime’

The Leaders of Harlow, East Hertfordshire, Epping Forest and Uttlesford Councils are concerned that the decision to exclude Princess Alexandra Hospital and West Essex from the Essex-wide improvement regime puts innovative local future plans to achieve a sustainable hospital and the local health system serving their communities at risk.

This comes as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its report on Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital, highlighting the same key concerns that the Success Regime has been set up to address, namely capacity issues, pressure on hospital beds and staff shortages.

The District Council Leaders – Councillor Jon Clempner (Harlow), Councillor Linda Haysey (East Herts), Councillor Chris Whitbread (Epping Forest) and Councillor Howard Rolfe (Uttlesford), said:

‘Staff at PAH are doing an incredible job in very difficult circumstances and it was encouraging to see the CQC’s praise for the exceptionally caring staff who are prepared to go the extra mile.  However, it is very concerning that NHS England, Monitor and the Trust Development Agency last week decided to cut the hospital and West Essex out of its intended package of support for the county under the ‘Success Regime’.’

‘While we recognise there is more to be done locally, the issues at the Princess Alexandra Hospital are not unique to it – they are issues that need a strategic solution.  Addressing staff and capacity issues and moving forward with the service transformation work already commenced in West Essex could and should be included in the Success Regime.’

‘We urge NHS England to reconsider West Essex’s exclusion from the Success Regime, so that long term solutions can be identified to the challenges being faced by the health system in West Essex and PAH.  It is vital that the communities we serve have access to sustainable and appropriate health services to meet their needs.’