Search

‘Future of hospital could be in doubt’ - Whittington chiefs

09:00 28 February 2014

Dr Yi Mien Koh, chief executive of the Whittington Hospital

Dr Yi Mien Koh, chief executive of the Whittington Hospital

Archant

Hospital bosses have warned that the future of the Whittington could be in doubt after they were summoned to the town hall to answer accusations that they are facing a crisis.

Dr Yi Mien Koh and Steve Hitchins, chief executive and chairman of the hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, also claimed that transformation to a foundation trust would be slow “to avoid another Mid-Staffs”.

The pair had been called before an Islington Council scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday to defend themselves against allegations that the hospital is in crisis following a turbulent year of protests – including the 5,000-strong march opposing a sell-off of the estate in Archway.

Mr Hitchins said: “Becoming a foundation trust is a difficult process.

“We have to wait for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, which will be rigorous.

“It’s in our hands and we can do it if we pull our fingers out.

“But things will take time because the government won’t want to approve a foundation trust that goes the way of Mid-Staffs.

“We have one more chance to get this right.

“If we get it wrong this time, the loss of morale in the hospital will leave us very vulnerable to not having an independent future.”

A spokesman for the trust said all CQC inspections have to be completed by December 2015.

Cllr Martin Klute, who chaired the sparsely-attended committee meeting, wanted Dr Koh to “directly respond” to allegations that senior staff were “leaving a sinking ship” and reports of a £40million budget deficit – charges the chief executive strongly denied.

She said: “A senior staff member left when she was promoted to become the number two nurse in London – it was a great opportunity and we are all happy for her.

“The reports of a £40million deficit are completely untrue.

“We have to make estimated savings of £15million – which is typical for an organisation like us and less than most councils – and we are forecast to break even this year.

“None of these claims resonate with me and those making them can’t back them up.”

Mr Hitchins also promised to reform the trust’s future budgets to make them more transparent, in the manner of local authority finances.

He told the committee that councillors from Haringey and Islington had attended the last Whittington board meeting, at his request.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

08:00
Chris Underhill, Allan Rapley, Seyho Kurt, Jane Wiles,Thomas Hentges and Tala Gulamhusein are among several high street traders campaigning to get the camera removed. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Exasperated shopkeepers have branded a council traffic spy camera a waste of taxpayers’ money after it was revealed that it hasn’t been switched on in the seven months since it was installed.

07:30
Organisers were hoping to bring a slip & slide to Hampstead Heath. Picture: Facebook/University Socials

Plans to bring an enormous water slide to Hampstead Heath this summer have received so much support from the public, organisers say they’ve had to abandon the idea.

Yesterday, 20:38
A coroner today ruled Golders Green student Jeremiah Duggan did not commit suicide in Germany in 2003 after his family's decade-long campaign for justice

A Golders Green student who died in Germany in 2003 after attending a youth conference organised by a far-right wing “cult” did not commit suicide, a coroner ruled today, after his family’s decade-long campaign for justice.

Yesterday, 17:18
Jeremiah Duggan died on a motorway in Wiesbaden, Germany

The coroner in the inquest into the death of Jeremiah Duggan in Germany in 2003 has reached a narrative verdict. Here it is in full.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Cheers!

We’re giving you the chance to win six cases of this fab Bradshaw Chardonnay.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder