One of the outcomes of the recent survey carried out by The Harlow Alliance Party was that the vast majority of those commenting about the new hospital felt that the best location for a new hospital is on it’s present site. We are therefore amazed to see the article produced by the hospital board that indicated they are now consulting with its patients on options for services at the site of the proposed new hospital. We ask why have they decided to consult now when they did not ask what patients, staff or anyone who uses the hospital what they thought about relocating the hospital out of Harlow? Perhaps HAP are wrong in thinking they may be concerned of getting a result which did not match their own aspirations of building on a new site.
With the majority of the hospital patients living in Harlow and the surrounding area and a large number accessing the hospital in its present position via the A414, does it seem sensible to make them travel further to land outside Harlow? The relocation site is not eco-friendly for transport to the site as the majority of patients are not able to use public transport due to age or disability. This location will do nothing but create pollution as patients have to use cars, taxi or public transport to get to treatment or visit their loved ones. This is further extenuated by the fact that a very high proportion of staff who reside in Harlow close to the hospital will now be forced to travel further to work. Many people who work or volunteer get to the hospital by the existing networks close to their local homes which enable them to use green travel by walking or cycling. This is not an option when the workplace is some 4 miles away.
Come on Hospital Board think again, use common sense and build a new hospital on the existing site. It’s a lame excuse to suggest the cost will be more remaining where it is as all the services that will be needed are already in place. It has the added advantage of being able to support the mental health unit which is staying put. It’s just a logistics exercise to keep things running whilst reconstructing.
Has the hospital board taken account of the loss of footfall that will occur in the town when our town centre is struggling to survive? Relocation will be taking a way the people that use the town centre either as patients, staff or visitors. What hope have we of putting together a strategy to help the town rejuvenate?
One has to ask why is it that politicians and CEO’s make decisions without thinking or consulting the people they are going to affect. I wonder how many of those making decisions on our behalf live in Harlow and use the service of the PAH.
Harlow Alliance Party