Search

Campaigners claim victory after U-turn on Whittington Hospital sell-off but say battle is not yet won

PUBLISHED: 17:42 10 July 2013 | UPDATED: 18:19 10 July 2013

Save The Whittington campaigners hold a Happy Birthday NHS party outside the Whittington Hospital last Friday

Save The Whittington campaigners hold a Happy Birthday NHS party outside the Whittington Hospital last Friday

Archant

Health campaigners have hailed the scrapping of unpopular sell-off proposals at the Whittington Hospital as a huge success – but have raised concerns over the implications of moving more health care into the community.

Members of the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition kick-started a campaign against the hospital’s controversial proposals to sell-off buildings and reduce patient capacity and staff numbers, following January’s announcement

They were backed by politicians, celebrities, thousands of residents and the Ham&High’s Hands Off Our Whittington campaign as the community united for a 5,000-strong protest in March.

The revised plans published this week come after a three-month consultation with the public and have been welcomed by the coalition of campaigners as well as union officials. However, they have warned the battle is not over yet.

Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition chair Shirley Franklin said: “I’m very glad we put them in to a position of having to re-do their plan and that they are going to sell fewer buildings. I’m very proud of the campaign.

“In terms of their clinical strategy and moving from care in hospital to the home, it will only work if there is a support network. At the moment we don’t think people will get proper care in the community.

“There are a lot of people who won’t be supported properly in their recovery.”

George Binette, branch secretary of Camden Unison, said he was relieved bed numbers were not going to be reduced but said the failure of the hospital to quantify redundancies was “cruel”.

He said: “Without quantifying the staff numbers it’s not very meaningful. It’s a very cruel and cynical mask for cuts.

“There are voluntary redundancies happening now.”

He said plans which would require staff to be more flexible so they can work both in the hospital and in the community were likely to lead to increased work loads.

“Increasing flexibility is used by employers as a mantra which means squeezing more out of people for no more money.

“We’re pleased they are not cutting bed capacity, but without additional resources I can’t see how they can deliver their community care programme with less staff.

“Bed capacity is at 90 per cent which raises the question, aren’t staff already stretched?

“The devil will be in the detail, they need to quantify what minimum redundancies means.

“A lot more information is needed to reassure me the campaigning has achieved a significant victory. However, it is hopeful.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:15

Hampstead voted overwhelmingly to adopts its neighbourbood plan in a referendum yesterday.

Disability campaigner, Olympic torchbearer and Shepherd’s Hill resident Pamela Moffatt has died at the age of 80.

Yesterday, 15:54

Teddy bears will be cascading down from St James’ Church once again on Saturday, as part of the fourth annual Midsummer Muswell festival.

Yesterday, 12:47

Three young men have been charged in relation to two moped smash and grabs after police executed search warrants across Islington, Camden and Haringey.

Yesterday, 12:22

A Muswell Hill woman is living on borrowed time after being diagnosed with the deadly mesothelioma “asbestos disease” caused by hugging her dad as a toddler when he came home each night from working in the docks in the 1960s.

Yesterday, 10:55

The London Irish Centre has received a welcome funding boost after Ed Sheeran and Dermot O’Leary helped them rake in £250,000 on Wednesday night.

Thu, 17:57

George Michael superfans are preparing to celebrate his life at two events on Sunday, ahead of what would have been the pop icon’s 55th birthday.

Thu, 17:28

Workers have reportedly been living on a construction site in Abercorn Estate in St John’s Wood.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now