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Health bosses hint at major changes to Whittington Hospital sell-off plans

PUBLISHED: 12:28 27 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:12 27 June 2013

Members of Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition are demanding answers over plans to sell-off hospital buildings

Members of Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition are demanding answers over plans to sell-off hospital buildings

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Health chiefs have dropped their strongest hints yet that controversial plans to sell-off a third of buildings at the Whittington Hospital and close three wards are set to change.

During a board meeting yesterday, chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh said: “We should be taking a longer term view about estates” later adding “with a population growing and getting older and with more new births we need to look again at estates going forward.”

The Whittington’s application to become a Foundation Trust, which requires the hospital to make savings of £4.8million, has been the driving force behind the board’s earlier decision to sell-off hospital buildings and axe hundreds of staff.

In response to demands that questions from the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition about the status of the application be answered, acting chairman Robert Aitken said “some questions have been overtaken by events” and a full details would be ready at the next board meeting in July.

He also said the Education Centre building, which was one of those due to be sold off, was not up for sale.

The plans have met fierce opposition from campaigners, who on Wednesday wore masks with the word ‘gagged’ written across.

Dr Koh said: “We are reflecting very hard about the beds that we have. We have been very clear from the start we will not make changes unless they are good for patients and alternatives are the same if not better, but maybe we have not communicated that very well.”

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