New #Whittington boss puts #Islington’s hospital back under threat

Islington people will have to start a new fight against proposed cuts to the Whittington Hospital.

Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition is making the call after hearing the plans of the new chair of the hospital board at a public meeting.

Last July, the Coalition, with support from IHOOPS, won a victory after hospital bosses reversed decisions to cut staff and sell off building.

Islington Hands Off Our Public Services marches for the Whittington

Islington Hands Off Our Public Services marches for the Whittington

But at a meeting on 3 March, at St Mary Brookfield church, Dartmouth Park Hill, the chair Steve Hitchens said that the hospital could not remain as a district hospital.

Chair of the Coalition, Shirley Franklyn commented: “So, are you up for a fight back? We hope so, because otherwise our hospital services will be further decimated and privatised.

“In the end, after a lot of prevarication, Steve Hitchins, surprised us by turning up to tell us about his plans. He does not think it is viable for our hospital to remain as a district hospital.

“It appears that all he wants to create is a glorified health centre, with integrated care and skyping patients spread across the boroughs.

“He plans to cut staff, while wasting millions of our money that should have gone into the hospital but that was paid to private consultants whose work they have ignored. But, other services are also being privatised at the hospital – e.g. catering and IT.

“Hitchins also said that he thought if the Hospital lost the Foundation Trust status that it would also lose a lot of services. We do not believe this to be the case. Whoever runs the Trust will have us on their back to ensure that we have a fully-fledged district hospital.

“He has torn up all the plans that have gone before. So having spent millions, including around £350,000 to Ernst and Young and £1-2 million to Unipart, as well as all the work done by hospital medical directors and their teams, they are back to the drawing board.”

The Coalition is asking people to tell them what they think. People can email them or put comments on their – and/or Facebook

The meeting also heard from Lewisham, Chase Farm and Whipps Cross campaigns.

Shirley continued: “All these campaigns have hospital staff and consultants on them. It would be great if we could have more insiders coming to our planning meetings.

“A big thanks to everyone who turned up to the meeting and to our wonderful speakers.”

The next planning meeting is Monday 7 April at 7.00 in the ground floor room at the Archway Methodist Church Hall, in Archway Close. The room is wheelchair accessible.


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