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Anger over plans to move physiotherapy out of Whittington Hospital

PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 January 2012

The Whittington Hospital

The Whittington Hospital

Archant

The Whittington hospital has been accused of “sly” tactics over plans to move some of its physiotherapy services out of the hospital and into the community.

Winiford Beaumont, who is regularly treated at the clinic, only found out about the changes when she attended an appointment and saw a petition calling for services to be kept at the hospital in Magdala Avenue in Highgate.

When she returned to her GP surgery, Highgate Group Practice, she claimed doctors told her they knew nothing of the move.

The Highgate pensioner, who lives in Hillcrest, said: “It is shocking the hospital is slipping it in without even the Highgate Group Practice knowing. Where is everyone supposed to go?

“You don’t want to come out after physiotherapy and have to go on three buses home.

“It is very sly to do it like this.”

The hospital confirmed there are plans for physiotherapy services to be moved into the community to “improve accessibility”.

But it has not yet finalised where patients will be sent instead.

It is believed the services will be relocated at the end of March and there are no expected job losses.

Claire Hunter, healthcare receptionist at Dr Hussain’s surgery in Wedmore Gardens, Archway, said the practice had already begun referring to community clinics, which was unpopular among some patients.

She said: “We have had quite a few patients complain about it because they think it is too far to travel.

“The Whittington is convenient and nearby. The change has had an impact, especially the older patients.”

A hospital spokeswoman said: “The Whittington Hospital site will still remain a key location for physiotherapy and it is not anticipated that job losses will occur as a result.

“It is not our intention to close the physiotherapy service at the hospital but to enhance the service to work more closely with our GPs and residents.”

She added that the hospital had been in touch with GPs and will keep them updated on the plans.

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