The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

01279 444455 Hamstel Road, Hamstel Road , Harlow, Essex, CM20 1QX

2.5 out of 5 stars

Based on 18 ratings for this trust

2.5 Stars

2.5 out of 5 stars

NHS Choices users' overall rating
Based on 18 ratings for this trust


20 total

Daryl Schneider gave The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust a rating of 1 stars

Unreliable useless staff

I am heavily pregnant and due a baby in Feb.
I have had nothing but my time wasted with harlow Hospital. Everytime I turn up for scans or consultant appointments they run over an hour late so I spent 5 hours in total at the hospital on the 4th December!!!

The worst of it has to be the unreliability of doctors/consultants !!!!!
I’m still waiting for my anaesthetist appointment. I had a letter to see a doctor on the 6/12 and at the last minute I received a letter to say this had been cancelled which was fine ..I just re arranged my day and went to work. I then heard nothing so everytime I was there for a consultant appointment I asked about an anaesthetist and they told me they still had no news on any new diaries for the doctor.
Friday just gone I got home from work to a letter stating I had an appointment nowfor today on 13/12 at 2.45pm with the doctor so I arranged to be off work for this. Bearing in my mind I’m heavily pregnant and had to drive myself from loughton to the hospital and I haven’t been at all well with my pregnancy recently either or my stress levels. On arriving to the hospital after sitting in a load of traffic and awful weather I was told at the ante Natal booking window that my appointment was no longer going ahead today and the doctor's whole diary had been cancelled. Twice in a week! I said and no one bothered to let me know ? The staff member told me that everyone had been contacted by letter and phone. I had not received one letter other than the one on the 6th for cancelling and none of the numbers they have on file for me were called either !! I explained this and said it’s disgusting how I’ve been messed around twice now and driven all the way up to you and no one has bothered to contact me once. Not just that .. with only 7-10 weeks left til my baby .. am I ever going to see this doctor especially since they're so unreliable !!

Absolutely disgusted harlow Hospital !! Your admin staff need serious training. And your consultants need to sort themselves out. So unprofessional.

Visited in December 2017. Posted on 13 December 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has not yet replied.

Charlie gave The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust a rating of 5 stars

Wonderful treatment

I went in to the day unit yesterday morning for a laryngoscopes . I was naturally a little worried as I don't frequent hospitals very often- thankfully! From the time I arrived the staff couldn't have been nicer. I only stayed in the waiting room for 30 minutes before I was taken thruough to a cubicle where a sister came and spoke to me, then the surgeon came and explained the procedure followed by the anaesthetic . All the way through I was cared for amazingly! Always someone asking me how I felt and I really couldn't have been treated better! Spotlessly clean, staff on view sweeping and washing the floors, if you have to go in I promise you you have no need to worry!

Visited in November 2017. Posted on 11 November 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust replied on 20 November 2017

Dear Charlie,

No-one wants to be in hospital, it can be horrible and unpleasant despite our best efforts; having to take medications you haven't tried before, waits for tests, review by specialists, having procedures and so we do try our best to make your experience the best it can be, because we know what it's like to be in your shoes.

Great to read what a good experience you had and for you, or anyone else reading this, we know we don't always get it right, which is why we have a dedicated Patient Experience Team, who you can call at any time and leave a message or email and we will get back to you within 48 hours. The email is or phone 01279 82 72 11.

Report as unsuitable

Jackson reviewed The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

Waiting times to see doctors

I recently had surgery to have metal pins removed from my wrist after dislocating and breaking it. The surgery went well and was told to attend a review with my surgeon 4 weeks later. Firstly, 4 weeks was far too long to wait as I was forced to remove the dressing myself after it (the dressing) became incredibly uncomfortable and too unhygienic to justify keeping on my wrist. When I arrived for my appointment I had to see a different doctor not the doctor who performed my surgery, which I would have preferred. After seeing this doctor another review was put in place for me to attend and when I turned up for this appointment the doctor who did my surgery was again, unavailable. On top of that, after waiting an entire hour I came to the decision to rearrange the appointment as I needed to go back to work at some point. When I explained this to the receptionist they said to me "well the doctor does need some time off from time to time" This is a completely unacceptable thing to say considering the month prior the doctor was again not available for what ever reason. I had been kept an hour to see a different doctor who I did not see as I needed to get back to work. I am very disappointed and feel very let down by all this. It is poor practice to keep someone waiting for an hour and when they rearrange they are told "The doctor does need some time off from time to time" Despicable and I think this hospitals practices need to be addressed. Especially with what patients are told and how they are said to them.

Visited in November 2017. Posted on 27 November 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust replied on 28 November 2017

Dear Jackson,

This sounds like a difficult experience from after the surgery all the way to the second appointment and is really not what we want your experience to be. Additional dressings should have been supplied after you left and, as you will be aware, though it is not unusual for patients to wait to see a doctor, the receptionist's reaction to your concerns was poorly judged.

I would encourage you to make contact with our patient experience, and safety and quality teams at the hospital to discuss what happened so we can work to reduce the possibility of a recurrence. The email address to use is or telephone 01279 82 72 11.

Report as unsuitable

Janet Martin gave The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust a rating of 5 stars

Melvin Ward

I was recently taken to A&E in the early hours of the morning by my husband with severe stomach pain. I was seen within 10 minutes of arrival. After varies test/scans etc I was admitted for emergency surgery and had a bed in Melvin ward. All the staff in A&E, porters and Melvin wards staff etc where all brilliant. My thanks to all for their care and attention.

Visited in November 2017. Posted on 12 December 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has not yet replied.

Melissa gave at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust a rating of 1 stars


Today I came to get my bloods taken, I am 36 weeks pregnant and need to check my iron levels. After waiting an hour the que had only moved 30 spaces with another 60 until it would have been my turn. In the end I had to leave as I had to collect my son from pre-school. I understand that they are busy but I have never know it to go so slow. I could not come any earlier or later as waiting there with a 2yr old would have been even worse. My son Is at preschool for 3 hrs a day and it looks like it would have taken me longer than that to get done. Off to st Margaret's tomorrow to see if I have a better chance!

Visited in October 2017. Posted on 04 October 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust replied on 11 October 2017

Thanks for taking the time to say how things were for you.

A number of things are happening at the moment (the last few months of 2017) which may be creating additional crowding and 'busy-ness'.

We are refurbishing our Main Outpatient Services on the Harlow hospital site where bloods are taken to create a better patient experience, with a modern refreshed, more comfortable and private waiting space; Emergency Department is being rebuilt internally to improve patient flow and help us get you through faster if you need this kind of care; and our main Ground Level corridors are being brightened up, repainted and re-floored, with as well as replacing the main staircase in the Restaurant Atrium.

Thank you again for your comment as it gives us a chance to explain what we are doing. If you would like to speak to a senior manager in person, we can also arrange that, just call 01279 82 72 11.

Report as unsuitable

Adiepaul gave The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust a rating of 1 stars

Dirty and disgusting

My mother was taken to a&he and allocated a bed in aeu while waiting to be admitted to a wars . This was one of the hottest days of the year . The air conditioning was not working and I had to constantly to keep on at staff to get some fans . The window frames were full of grime which obviously had not been cleaned for months .
The toilets were filthy on the ground floor . My dad ( 86 years old) was disgusted with the conditions.
The cleaners need re-training. Conditions in this hospital need improving fast , the leaders need to visit on a weekend as what the CEO thinks of the hospital is not the reality .

Visited in June 2017. Posted on 30 June 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust replied on 17 August 2017

Dear Adiepaul,

I am so sorry you experienced this. We do not have air conditioning and the site is very old and that is part of the reason we are in the early stages of the thinking around building a new hospital facility in the local area.

However, there is never any excuse for grime, lack of cleaning or lack of hygiene. We do pride ourselves on one of the lowest infection rates in England and so it is shocking to read your comments.

It is for this reason that we would be keen to speak to you to see how this has happened. If you are willing, please contact us on 01279 82 72 11 or email

Report as unsuitable

Anonymous gave The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust a rating of 4 stars

Thank you.

A few years ago I posted about the wonderful care my dad got at PAH, the staff we so lovely, today, I'd like to thank them for caring for my mum, the staff, all of them from cleaners to cardiologists have taken good care of my mum,( I know its not always the case) , but this week, I'm so grateful to them. Xx

Visited in April 2017. Posted on 07 April 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust replied on 08 June 2017

Thank you so much for your lovely comment. We've ensured this has been passed on to the cleaners... and yes the cardiology team too.

Report as unsuitable

Anonymous gave The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust a rating of 1 stars

lethargic care

After having a motorcycle crash on Sunday afternoon at Rye House Speedway track I was taken to the A & E department, then transferred to the resuss department as a precautionary measure (which was a good thing). My shoulder was discloated and broken, also my forearm was broken. They insisted on putting me on a spinal board and neck brace and making me lie flat on my back which was excruciatingly painful on my injuries. I understand why they wanted to do this, but I kept explaining it was too painful to lie down and they wouldn't listen. They insisted on me having a CT scan but I couldn't keep my arm down and they very irritated with me for not being able to put it down. I felt like I was a nuisance to them. After many painful attempts they did the scan and some x-rays and I was sent to Tye Green ward. The nurses didn't come to check on me all night unless I pressed the buzzer. I had to keep asking for painkillers and they would go away and take ages to come back. I asked them 7 or 8 times for stronger pain relief, but I was told only a doctor could authorise this. I asked over and over for a doctor but none came. I was awake pretty much alnight in horrendous pain. All the bed controls and water jug etc were always moved and left out of reach when they came around, I got wise to this and had to ask for them to be put in reach each time. This just seems to be so unthoughtful, a complete lack of common sense !!. They left me dislocated with minimal pain relief for 18 hours! The surgeons were excellent, but the nurses were not the sharpest knives in the drawer. They were unattentive and lethargic and disinterested, except for one member of staff in the last hour or so I was there, they were brilliant.

I never ever want to go back to Tye Ward again, it was the longest hours of my life, I couldn't wait to leave. I've been in a few accidents over the years, and I can put up with pain, but this whole episode left me feeling sad and very angry.

Visited in April 2017. Posted on 06 May 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust replied on 18 May 2017

Dear Anonymous,

I can't imagine the difficulties you have had in going through this accident and I am sorry we were not able to do more to control your pain relief. Achieving optimal control with the kinds of injuries you describe is exceptionally difficult but I completely accept that we needed to get this right and did not.

I have spoken to the teams involved in your care and treatment, they were disheartened to read the comments as they genuinely do work as hard as they can to deliver a high quality service. I have suggested that the team make time to meet with you and talk through what went wrong and what we could do better and they are keen on this.

If you feel able to take the team up on their offer please get in touch with the Patient Experience Team NHS Choices Lead on 01279 82 70 84 as soon as possible.

Thanks again for taking the time to tell us your story.

Report as unsuitable

Anonymous reviewed The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

Appointments failure

Five years ago I became a general surgery patient for the removal of a cancerous polyp on my colon. The surgery went very well and I have nothing but sincere respect and gratitude both for the surgical and nursing teams at that time.
As a cancer patient I was told that I would be monitored for 5 years. This aftercare too, has until now been excellent. I have, luckily, remained clear of cancer.
My complaint starts with the attempt to pin down my final appointment with the General Surgery clinic at St Margaret's in Epping. I have had my appointment cancelled five times. The five appointments stretch from 28th April to 11th August. To be fair, the last of these was at my request as one of the dates was when I am holiday. However, no sooner had I received my 11th August appointment, I received a cancellation for that and been changed to an earlier date in July, again when I'm on holiday.
In order to prepare for this appointment, I am meant to undergo a colonoscopy as a final check on the surgery site. This is not the most pleasant procedure. I am reluctant to make the colonoscopy appointment in case the same fiasco affects that too.
What really annoys me, these changes are made with a glib apology for the inconvenience and no explanation. We are also told if we fail to attend, the cost to the NHS is £150. I wonder how much of this cost goes towards paying someone to send five change of appointment letters? Consider the cost to the patient. As I don't have a car, my daughter books time off work to take me. Needless to say, her employers are sick of this debacle too. There is also the anxiety and frustration I am going through. Thank goodness I am at the end of my 5 years with General Surgery. Should I, God forbid, need them again, I hope things will have improved.

Visited in April 2017. Posted on 30 May 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust replied on 08 June 2017

Dear Anonymous,

The number of times your appointment has been cancelled should trigger a mechanism which minimises the risk of this recurring and so I am sorry that has not happened even if you requested the last one. As you are posting your comment anonymously I am unable to check how this has happened without your making contact with me or a member of my team in Patient Experience. If you feel able to do so, please contact the Patient Experience Team on 01279 82 72 11, Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.

We are always looking at ways in which we can improve our service, part of which is to review letters being sent to patients and so I will be making sure your comments are sent to the staff responsible for your outpatient letter so they are able to make an informed decision about the consequences of explaining the cost. I do hope we are able to resolve this for you through the Patient Experience Team, if not, please do make contact again.

Report as unsuitable

Charlotte collison gave The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust a rating of 2 stars


I was admitted on monday evening spent two nights on melvin ward staff were brilliant and i was very well cared for by them however not so much by your doctors who discharged me whipst i was stil very ill in lots of pain and being sick thursday afternoon referred back to A&E and once again admitted as im still clearly unwell! Sent to kingsmoor ward which so far i have been on hrere 3 hours a nurse has not checked on simply acknoledged i am here and explained how very busy they are its also midnight all the lights are still on i cant get to sleep i havent sleep properly for days this isnt helping please send me back to melvin ward at least i know the nurses there will actually take care of me not just ignore me!!

Visited in March 2017. Posted on 16 March 2017

Report as unsuitable

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust replied on 08 June 2017

Dear Charlotte,

Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. I do hope the rest of your experience was a little better and more akin to the experience on Melvin Ward. Really disappointing to read about your experience with the doctors, that's really not the experience we want you to have and I know our Chief Medical Officer would agree if I said we'd really like to hear more from you about your experience so we can work with our staff to minimise the likelihood of a recurrence of your care experience.

If you feel able to do so, please contact the Patient Experience Team on 01279 82 70 84 Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm or email

Report as unsuitable