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

Yesterday, 16:29
A view of the proposed development from Maygrove Peace park

The final plans for what would be one of West Hampstead’s tallest towers have been made available to the public after Camden Council submitted the planning application.

Yesterday, 16:00
Pupils dress up for Highgate Primary School's nativity play. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A primary school put its own spin on a traditional nativity play by recruiting three Marys, three Josephs and a talking donkey.

Yesterday, 15:00
La Sainte Union pupils sing Christmas carols. Picture: Dieter Perry

Schoolgirls raised their voices in song to treat a church congregation to Christmas carols at a festive concert.

Yesterday, 13:00
Camden families have been defying new government rules and taking their children on holidays during school term time. Picture: PA File.

Dozens of Camden families have defied new government rules banning pupils from going on holiday during school term time, new figures reveal.

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

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