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

Justine Gosling, centre, with travel writer Charley Boorman, left, and professional rock climber Leo Houlding, right. Picture: Stewart Smith

A physiotherapist at the Royal Free Hospital is to run, hike and cycle the entire length of the “Iron Curtain” – with a little help from renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and celebrity travellers Ben Fogle and Charley Boorman.

Yesterday, 12:30
Councillor Abdul Hai has been campaigner for extended hours at coroner's courts for years

The government has announced a review into out-of-hours coroner services after members of Muslim and Jewish communities complained they were being prevented from providing their loved ones with proper religious burials.

Yesterday, 08:00
Lindsey Wylie (centre) with the stars of All That Fall at the Jermyn Street Theatre, Dame Eileen Atkins (left) and Michael Gambon. Picture: Polly Hancock

Lindsey Wylie is the founder of the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) charity for disadvantaged children, which she set up in 2010 following the tragic death of her 17-year-old daughter Alexandra from cancer. She lives in Highgate with her family.

Fri, 17:28
Edward the Sloth is being taught to feed and climb by surrogate mothers

Keepers at London Zoo have enlisted a teddy to help them rear a baby male sloth after his mother became unable to feed him.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder