#Islington #SaveTheWhittington – post Day of Action work

 Thanks to all who participated in and helped to build our successful Day of Action. We wore our cat masks and had stunts at surgeries in Islington and Haringey and outside London Met Uni. We held a successful rally outside the Hospital, with the Whittington Unison staff, holding their banner, and then sang our way into the Board meeting. The Board, who is supposed to consult with and listen to residents, refused to let us ask a single question or make a statement. We called for them to resign. They left the Board Room, where we consequently had our own meeting. This was a really successful meeting where new people participated and put forward some great ideas.

These ideas include:

  • Finding out more about Whittington’s finances, which someone reported were pretty healthy. Joe Liddane, the Chair of the Board reports on a document called Board Matters that there is a surplus of £1.3 milllion. Is this because of cuts they were already making through “savings”? 
  • A closer relationship with and attendance at Health Scrutiny Committee meetings.
  • Encouraging more people to participate in social media: our Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Discussion of involvement of political parties. People come from a range of parties, or none, and from community groups. We want to extend to more community groups and be inclusive, so long as the work conforms to our constitution and aims, of opposition to cuts and privatisation of our health service. People should feel free to leaflet their areas using our materials and supporting our work, but not put their logos/parties onto our leaflets etc or claim or suggest ownership of the campaign.
  • Volunteers. The above means greater engagement from a wider range of people. We would appreciate more help with administrative and events work. We are thinking about holding a benefit/gig and a social. Would you like to be involved? If so do email at this address.
  • Haringey 38 Degrees group is showing of Ken Loach’s film The Spirit of ’45 on 8 May 2013 at West Green Learning Centre. We can get a copy. Should we organise a showing with a speaker, eg BMA Exec member and Whitington consultant Jacky Davis?

24 April Day of Action reports and video

And see our wonderfully newly vamped up website for more. (Pictures of the different Day of Action events will be appearing soon.)

Questions for the Board of the Whittington Hospital
We have drawn up and sent the Board a series of questions (attached) and await responses. They want to meet with us in private, but we want to meet with them publicly and want answers to these questions. So we are thinking of holding a public meeting to this end. What do you think? Have you got other questions you would like asked?


  1. What is the deadline for the Foundation Trust application?
  2. When will you be presenting the application to the Board?
  3. Why did the Board not resign when the Budget was cut showing their commitment to a fully-funded hospital, since this cut disabled the full functioning of our local hospital?
  4. What is the cost of the Board’s Open days and “Discussion” evenings to promote the sell-off plans?
  5. Has the Board developed a model for transference of hospital to community care?
  6. How is the Transforming the Patient Experience going to benefit patients?
  7. How is the Patient Pathway Co-ordinator role going to benefit patients, given the criticisms in The Francis Report of inadequate patient engagement with staff.
  8. When will the TPE be implemented?
  9. What are the detailed plans to place hospital services into clinics?
  10. The buildings for sale have to be used for health purposes. Does the Board have any concerns about their purchase and use by health providers?
  11. Care in the Community is inefficient in that it takes up more, rather than less, staff time. How can the proposals for Care in the Community take place without an increased quota of nursing staff?
  12. In what ways does the Board consider that it has consulted with the Whittington Community?
  13. What opinions of the sell-off plans has the Board heard from the community, and which ones will they consider in current Foundation Trust plans?
  14. Who commissioned Dictate-IT to work in the Hospital?
  15. How does the use of Dictate-IT guarantee accuracy and safety in patient record-keeping?
  16. Why are senior managers leaving the Hospital? Does this reflect any changes in plans? This is of concern, given that one of them was responsible for the Unipart engagement in the sell-off plans.
  17. Why is the employment treatment of medical secretaries and other staff so very poor? This has an impact on staff morale and in the trust of patients and staff in care management at the Hospital.
  18. How are you going to address the lack of management transparency? Changes seem to be occurring without consultation or knowledge of the staff or patients. There is a serious lack of transparency and communication, creating anger, frustration and mistrust inside and outside the Hospital.

 18 May Demonstration

This is our next priority – a joint London Hospitals campaign demo. As beds are cut across the capital there is going to a massive beds crisis. We are already reading of a crisis in A and E beds. We also now that the Whittington frequently has red alerts, with not enough beds. The crisis at the Whittington is because of the Government’s insistence on getting Foundation Trust status and underfunding of the Health Service. This is a similar situation for other hospitals. The Private Finance Initiative repayments on newer hospitals builds is proving catastrophic in other areas. But there is also a heavy payback at UCLH. 

See attached leaflet, which we will be distributing. Printed versions will be at the Whittington Community Centre in Yerbury Road. Can you help us?

8 May: See above for Haringey 38 Degrees showing of Ken Loach film The Spirit of 45

Hunt for Hunt, 15 June
On 15 June Lewisham has organised a day trip Hunt’s constituency on Surrey,where hospital campaign groups scamper after Health Secretary Hunt. It is hoped to have a Whittington/North London coach. People who want to go need to commit by paying £5, which can be refunded, because the coach is sponsored by Unite the Union. I think the coach will leave Euston station at 8.15 on that Saturday morning.
Are you up for it? Are you up for organising it?!!!
Please indicate yes or no as Lewisham would like to know the viability of us joining them.

A big, big thank you to Tony Marshall for vamping up our website. Do have a look. It is still under construction. We welcome feedback and suggestions.

Our next planning meeting is at 7.00 pm on Monday, 6 May at Archway Methodist Church Hall, Archway Close. Do join us.

 Shirley Franklin, Chair, Defend the WhittingtonHospital Coalition


Please sign the petition to stop the WhittingtonHospital Sell-off!


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