Search

Protesters storm first Whittington Hospital meeting headed by controversial new chairman

17:16 08 January 2014

Steve Hitchins

Steve Hitchins

Archant

Campaigners turned out in force this afternoon to protest against the appointment of Steve Hitchins, Whittington Hospital’s new chairman.

Campaigners protest against the appointment of Steve Hitchins. Picture: Nigel Sutton.Campaigners protest against the appointment of Steve Hitchins. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Protesters stormed Mr Hitchins’ first meeting with the Whittington board and demanded to know more about his policy on cuts and his connections with private health companies.

Shirley Franklin, who organised the demonstration, claimed that his appointment was “absolutely disgraceful” in light of his alleged links with private health contractors.

She added that Mr Hitchins was driven by an agenda to make more cuts to services at the Whittington - and that hospital chiefs appointed him because of his reputation as a strong character capable of pushing through cuts.

She said: “He’s the right person for the job if you want to make cuts - that’s not putting patients first, that’s putting finance first.”

Confronting the Whittington health board during their first meeting, Ms Franklin told Mr Hitchins: “We’ve been told that there aren’t going to be cuts, and yet your papers for today’s board meeting talk about them.”

When asked to explain his plans for the hospital, Mr Hitchins told the protesters: “I don’t know, I’ve only been here a week.”

He also told protesters that we was not opposed to private health care, explaining: “No I’m not [opposed]. If people want to pay for it they can. I believe in a free society.”

He claimed that allegations over his connections with private healthcare companies had been exaggerated, before insisting that “this isn’t the place to go into that level of detail.”

When asked to explain who appointed him as chairman of the hospital, Mr Hitchins said: “There is absolutely no one in this room who was responsible for my appointment.”

Ms Franklin told the board this was “extraordinary, even more worrying than I thought it was.”

Protesters were also campaigning against the continued employment of Dr Yi Mien Koh, who one campaigner accused of having “poor people skills”.

Mr Hitchins invited protesters to meet him for a separate appointment to discuss their concerns.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00
Carole Stone

Carole Stone is a former BBC radio producer turned professional networker. She boasts a contacts list of more than 50,000 names and founded the YouGovStone think-tank, part of market research firm YouGov. The 73-year-old was made a CBE for services to market research in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She lives in Gospel Oak with her husband.

Yesterday, 12:00
Parliament Hill and William Ellis Schools' perform a summer concert in aid of Lauderdale Transformed. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Schoolchildren showcased their musical talents in a fundraising concert for a historic Highgate house.

Yesterday, 09:11
Jools Oliver

Model and mum-of-four Jools Oliver is married to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, and has lived in Primrose Hill for ten years. As well as bringing up her children, Jools has launched the Little Bird collection of toys, clothes and bedding for Mothercare and published Minus Nine to One: The Diary of an Honest Mum and a children’s book, The Adventures of Dotty and Bluebell.

Yesterday, 08:00
Sandra McGowan has died aged 81

A peace activist who was the first woman to be brought before the courts for protesting in the “ban the bomb” Aldermaston Marches has died aged 81.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder