Search

‘Stop the sell-off’: More than 500 people at meeting to save the Whittington Hospital

16:22 13 February 2013

Stop the sell-off: Shirley Franklin (centre) of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, flanked by Joe Liddane (left), chairman of Whittington Health, and MP Jeremy Corbyn (right). Picture: Polly Hancock

Stop the sell-off: Shirley Franklin (centre) of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, flanked by Joe Liddane (left), chairman of Whittington Health, and MP Jeremy Corbyn (right). Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

The woman spearheading the fight to stop The Whittington sell-off accused health bosses of putting two fingers up to the community.

The public meeting about plans to sell off almost half of the Whittington Hospital was attended by 500 people. Picture: Polly HancockThe public meeting about plans to sell off almost half of the Whittington Hospital was attended by 500 people. Picture: Polly Hancock

To cheers from the 500 protesters who attended a public meeting on Tuesday, Shirley Franklin, who chaired the proceedings, ended the meeting with the words: “You stuck your two fingers up at us. We are your Whittington community and you gave us absolutely zilch information and zilch respect and that’s why we’re angry.

“Don’t give us, ‘we don’t need hospital beds’ It’s disgusting, it’s insulting and we’re not stupid.”

Her outbust came as the hospital chairman Joe Liddane told the Ham&High that the board has no intention of changing tack or slowing down, despite the pleas. Instead, he promised more meetings to explain the move and added: “They are complex ideas but we think when people understand why we are doing it, they will be more amenable.”

Campaigners and MPs delivered a series of passionate speeches as more than 500 people crammed into the Archway Methodist Church, in Archway, which had to open overspill rooms to accommodate the large crowd.

During the meeting, which was called by the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, Mr Liddane apologised to the room for “mishandling the communication” of the plans. He said: “This has led a number of people to conclude that we’ve been secretive – and this hurts us, this pains us. It’s not correct. We publish all our plans on the website and all board meetings are held in public.”

Hospital bosses intend to sell off almost half of the site in a bid to raise around £17million and are championing ‘care in the community’ because beds will be lost through the plans.

Former health secretary, MP for Holborn and St Pancras Frank Dobson, said: “So what are we going to get? A thieving, rotten, ratbag American health corporation, moving in and building a flash hospital next to the Whittington and then trying to draw on the Whittington?”

He added: “The fact that the Whittington has a slightly higher ratio of nurses to patients than national rates and some of them are pretty well paid, might make some contribution to the fact that it is the safest hospital in the land.

“The idea of reducing their numbers is absolutely crackers.”

Tottenham MP David Lammy firmly rebutted claims that care at home would be better for patients, saying that moving mental health care services into the community had “devastating effects” in his constituency, and claimed losing such a large number of beds and capping births could lead to the eventual demise of the hospital.

One mother, sitting with her seven-year-old son, said that if she had to travel further from her home to maternity services, she would not have survived the premature birth of her third child.

A show of hands in the room left only three in favour of the sell off.

Best-selling author and political commentator Owen Jones has also thrown his weight behind the campaign and said: “You’ve picked the wrong community to have a fight with!”

A protest march from Highbury Corner to the Whittington in Magdala Avenue, Archway – which is hoped to bring out thousands of people – is planned for March 16.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

Plans to stack phone masts on top of a block of flats in Belsize Park have been making waves with angry residents

Yesterday, 17:38

A popular cafe in Waterlow Park is being dismantled prompting an outpouring of grief from customers who lined up to pay tribute to its charismatic owner

Yesterday, 16:00

Alexandra Park and Palace will decide tonight whether to apply for an events licence for the park, prompting fears over noise pollution and public access

Yesterday, 15:39

Actor and active animal welfare campaigner Peter Egan will compere a sparkling fundraising evening in aid of Mayhew International at Burgh House

Best-selling author Kathy Lette has slammed Royal Mail after private post for her and her barrister husband Geoffrey Robertson was found dumped in a street in West Hampstead.

Yesterday, 12:57

Supporters of Burgh House gathered for an afternoon tea to raise funds for the upkeep of the Grade I-listed building.

Yesterday, 10:35

The London Fire Brigade hosed down the car just outside a disabled parking bay in a residential street

Wed, 17:25

Anger over the proposed cycle-superhighway CS-11 has fuelled calls for Hampstead to become an independent parish council, granting the area planning powers separate from Camden.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

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

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

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now