Search

NHS campaigners condem Whittington boss for ‘cover up’ over payroll link to MEP wife

07:30 15 May 2014

NHA MEP candidate Dr Louise Irvine (second from left) outside the Whittington Hospital on Tuesday campaigning against privatisation of the NHS

NHA MEP candidate Dr Louise Irvine (second from left) outside the Whittington Hospital on Tuesday campaigning against privatisation of the NHS

Archant

NHS campaigners are “incredibly concerned” after it emerged that the chairman of the Whittington Hospital had not declared being on the payroll of his MEP wife.

Steve Hitchins, who joined Whittington Health in December, confirmed this week that he had received payments from his wife, London MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford, that do not appear on the hospital trust’s register of interests, but claimed that he had not accepted any payment since taking on his Whittington role.

Board members are required to “declare any conflict of interest that arises in the course of conducting NHS business”.

Upon joining Whittington Health, the trust that runs the hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, Mr Hitchins declared interests in roles for housing trusts, charities and membership of the Liberal Democrats. Also listed is his consultancy firm, Steve Hitchins Ltd.

But under the heading “conflict of interests that may arise out of any known family involvement”, there is written “nil”.

Dr Louise Irvine, London MEP candidate for the National Health Action Party, who campaigned outside the hospital on Tuesday, said: “Our party is incredibly concerned that the chairman of the Whittington didn’t declare receiving a salary from someone who appears so actively committed to legislation that leaves NHS services open to private companies.”

Mr Hitchins denied this, saying: “I’ve always been completely open and transparent with the trust about the work I do with my wife.

“I only get paid £20,000 for my work at the Whittington, which means I only spend three days a week there, so I have time to do other things.

‘‘I’ve worked for my wife for the past eight years; it’s listed in the public domain on her website.”

Baroness Ludford is an active promoter of legislation currently being negotiated in the EU that campaigners claim will “carve up” the NHS to private companies.

Two weeks ago, the Ham&High reported that prospective MEP candidates for the National Health Action Party in this month’s elections view the legislation being drafted as a key threat to the NHS “remaining a public service”.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a landmark EU-US free trade agreement being negotiated between Brussels and Washington.

It would allow transatlantic companies to bid for NHS contracts and sue the government should its actions affect profit.

Baroness Ludford is a key promoter of the legislation and vice-chairman of the EU delegation to the United States.

She has always insisted it would “not make the NHS vulnerable to privatisation”.

While insisting Mr Hitchins’ interests had been “fully disclosed”, Whittington Health said links with his wife would now appear on the declaration of interests.

Simon Pleydell, chief executive of Whittington Health, added: “We are clear that there has been no conflict of interest in the business of the Trust and Steve Hitchins.”

Related stories:

Whittington Hospital boss on payroll of MEP wife denies ‘cover up’ over undisclosed work

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

12:30
Tessa Walker with her award. Picture: Paul Starr

A Whittington Hospital nurse has been recognised at the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards.

08:00
Peter Barber, Head of Map Collections, British Library

Historian Peter Barber OBE is head of maps at the British Library and has lived in or near Highgate nearly all his life. The 66-year-old, now of Crouch End, sits on the council at Lauderdale House and has documented its history in 1993 tome, Lauderdale Revealed

Yesterday, 17:46
Mike Freer. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

With just under three weeks left until the general election, Conservative Mike Freer is locked in a fierce battle with Labour’s Sarah Sackman for re-election as Finchley and Golders Green MP. Tim Lamden caught up with Mr Freer ahead of the May 7 election.

Yesterday, 17:00
The boy dragged the female victim into the bushes in Ainger Road in Primrose Hill. Picture: Google Streetview

A boy has pleaded guilty to sexual assault after a woman was dragged into the bushes and had her clothes ripped off in a brutal attack in Primrose Hill.

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

Competitions

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Seasons 1-4 on Blu-ray, as well as a shiny new Sony Blu-ray player could be coming your way!

To celebrate the fifth series of George RR Martin and HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, Ladbrokes is giving away a series one to four Blu-ray box set along with a Sony Blu-ray player to one lucky winner!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder