1. ITV Report

Case made for new hospital on Health Secretary's Harlow visit

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tours the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The case for a new hospital for Harlow has been made directly to Health Secretary Matt Hancock today.

The West Suffolk MP looked around the Princess Alexandra Hospital this morning (February 1).

The building has been described as 'not fit for purpose', with 'clinical, operational and financial risks.'

Today, Mr Hancock said he would consider the proposal for a new hospital once the plans hit his desk.

  • Click below to watch a report from ITV Anglia's Hannah Pettifer.

"This hospital was built in the 50s when medicine and technology was very different. It's quite cramped.

"What happens in hospitals is more than just the buildings. The staff here are brilliant, but we've got to look and I'll take a look at the proposal for a new hospital when it lands on my desk."

– Matt Hancock MP, Health Secretary

In a recent report by the Care Quality Commission, the Princess Alexandra Hospital was described as 'aged and in need of repairs' with 'a backlog of maintenance estimated to be around £50m.

In December the Government allocated the hospital £9m for its A&E department, but the health secretary today acknowledged much more was needed.

But building a hospital costs in the hundreds of millions - and campaigners are still keeping up the pressure.

Once the format of a new hospital is decided upon, consultations are scheduled to begin in May.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Two or three years ago we were nowhere, most regions in the country want a new hospital but Harlow is one of the top few being considered by the Health Secretary.

"If we keep that battle up we'll get that new hospital but there's still a long way to go."

– Robert Halfon MP