Search

Fears of asset stripping grow as Royal Free plans to build ‘hundreds of homes’

15:00 04 April 2014

Royal Free Hospital

Royal Free Hospital

Nigel Sutton

Fears that the Royal Free Hospital could be involved in an “asset stripping” exercise after it takes over Chase Farm Hospital have grown, after plans to build “hundreds of homes” at the neighbouring hospital were revealed.

The proposals emerged at a health scrutiny meeting at Camden Town Hall last Friday and come after long-standing concerns about the Royal Free’s planned takeover of the Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust.

Councillors scrutinising the bid expressed fears that the planning application would see Enfield patients lose out and the Royal Free pocketing the profits.

The proposed takeover comes after Barnet and Chase Farm revealed in 2012 it would not be able to meet the government’s deadline to become a foundation trust.

Cllr Alev Cazimoglu, from Enfield Council, said: “The Royal Free is preparing to submit a planning application to Enfield Council to build several hundred homes on the Chase Farm Hospital site.

“There is no transparency. No residents have been consulted. We’re very anxious.

“Our worst fears are going to be realised – we don’t know what the proposals involve; we don’t know how much land is going; and we don’t know what will go back to Chase Farm.”

A spokesman for the Royal Free said: “All the proceeds of any land sales at Chase Farm would be used to fund local health services for Enfield residents.”

But Cllr John Bryant, chair of Camden’s health scrutiny committee, said there needed to be “more precise detail on where the money would be spent”.

Councillors called for concrete assurances from the Royal Free’s chief executive David Sloman that any revenue would be “reinvested back into the hospital”.

The issue is likely to raise concerns across the NHS among the boards of hospitals still seeking foundation trust status – like the Whittington Hospital in Archway – which face an uncertain future and could themselves be taken over.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

12:38
Nick Clegg and Maajid Nawaz outside the Tavistock Centre. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg met service users at a specialist mental health centre in Swiss Cottage this morning.

16:00
Actress and former pupil Helena Bonham Carter with headteacher Helen Pike. Picture: Polly Hancock

Actress Helena Bonham Carter returned to her old school to officially open its new building and reminisce about her time as a pupil.

14:36
A Haverstock School pupil celebrates her GCSE results last summer. Picture: Camden Council

Camden, Barnet and Haringey schools have smashed national benchmark rates for “good” GCSE results, according to official government figures released yesterday.

14:00
Maryellen Salter.

Barnet Council was forced to pay more than £16,000 for an independent lawyer to investigate legal failings which led to one of its most senior directors stepping down.

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

Brothers: The David Haines Story, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30am on Sunday.

Over £30,000 has been raised in a couple of days for a mugging victim, despite the goal only being set at £500.

We let two experts have their say on why the campaign is needed – or isn’t.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder