Creating more efficient care pathways



The Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) provides acute services to the population of Harlow and the surrounding area of West Essex and East Hertfordshire (approximately 350,000 people).

PAH is the Trust’s main site and hospital – currently operating over 550 beds (including core general and acute beds, as well as maternity, High Dependency Unit and neonatal intensive care unit beds/cots). PAH currently employs around 3,000 staff.
Much of the existing PAH estate is ageing and provides sub-optimal efficiency and capacity (56% of PAH being of unacceptable condition). This is compromising the ability of PAH to deliver outstanding quality healthcare and meet the demand from predicted population growth in the future.
Following extensive consultation, the Trust have approved via their Trust Board the development of a new site solution. RLB was appointed to provide a full model of activity to 2033, the development of integrated care thinking, care principles and full healthcare planning.
The RLB team has developed a facility that has:

  • Created more efficient care pathways
  • Developed flexible room types for the future
  • Built a care campus that integrates across care pathways
  • Enabled the provision specialist and dedicated facilities where they are needed

RLB, as Health Planner, focused on the feasibility stage of the project, to determine the potential capacity, demand impacts and full engagement with clinical staff about future models of care and improvements to the current delivery mechanisms to support a “hospital of the future”. This included integrated teaching space, office space, private patient unit, patient hotel and a Trust HQ adjacent to the new facility. The total site brief was for approximately 90,000m².
The final feasibility study report was delivered on time and articulated future challenges faced by PAH; demonstrating how each option assessed through the feasibility study presents a cost-effective solution and maximises the PAH response to local health needs.
The project is now progressing to OBC stage ready for Dept. of Health and NHSI approval processes.
Photo credit: Gilling Dod Architects

At a glance

  • Client
    The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
  • Services
    Specialist Solutions, Strategic Asset Management
  • sector
  • Location
    Essex, United Kingdom