Search

Whittington Hospital announces ‘complete re-think’ of controversial sell-off plans

PUBLISHED: 12:08 03 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:08 03 July 2013

Campaigners protest against the Whittington Hospital sell-off plans at last week's board meeting. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Campaigners protest against the Whittington Hospital sell-off plans at last week's board meeting. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Staunchly opposed plans to sell-off a third of the Whittington Hospital’s buildings and axe hundreds of staff have been scrapped, it has emerged.

Members of the hospital’s board told Camden Council’s health scrutiny committee their “mindset had changed” and they would be going public with a new strategy next week following a three month “listening exercise”.

The Whittington Hospital’s application to become a foundation trust, which requires the hospital to make savings of £4.8million, was the driving force behind the board’s earlier decision to sell a third of the hospital buildings, close wards and cut 400 staff.

The news prompted a huge backlash from the public and MPs, who took part in a 5,000 strong protest outside the hospital in March, supported by the Ham&High’s Hands Off Our Whittington campaign.

During Tuesday’s meeting at Camden’s Town Hall, medical director of integrated care Dr Greg Battle responded to questions over the disposal of hospital properties.

He said: “We don’t have a firm line in the sand and an intention to do A B or C in a particular the time line. What we have in terms of timing is we have refreshed the strategy, we have listened hard to what people have said, and we’re not going to have the certainty nor the line in the sand that it looked like our strategy had even if there was no intention to do any disposals before 2015.”

He added: “The strategy that we are going public with shows a complete re-think.”

Dr Battle admitted to councillors that the hospital, in Magdala Avenue, Highgate, had not done enough consultation before announcing the original sell-off proposals. But executive medical director Dr Martin Kuper emphasised the plans were only ever “provisional”.

Dr Kuper said “undoubtedly” less hospital beds would be needed in future because of a move towards care in the community and a full estates strategy would be announced in September.

Hospital bosses told the committee that plans to become a foundation trust were still in place but the deadline for when the application must be complete had been moved back.

Dr Battle said: “We are still on the journey to foundation trust and we absolutely still believe there is a viable future.”

Whittington chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh said the hospital should take a longer term view of estates at a board meeting last week.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:15

Hampstead voted overwhelmingly to adopts its neighbourbood plan in a referendum yesterday.

Disability campaigner, Olympic torchbearer and Shepherd’s Hill resident Pamela Moffatt has died at the age of 80.

Yesterday, 15:54

Teddy bears will be cascading down from St James’ Church once again on Saturday, as part of the fourth annual Midsummer Muswell festival.

Yesterday, 12:47

Three young men have been charged in relation to two moped smash and grabs after police executed search warrants across Islington, Camden and Haringey.

Yesterday, 12:22

A Muswell Hill woman is living on borrowed time after being diagnosed with the deadly mesothelioma “asbestos disease” caused by hugging her dad as a toddler when he came home each night from working in the docks in the 1960s.

Yesterday, 10:55

The London Irish Centre has received a welcome funding boost after Ed Sheeran and Dermot O’Leary helped them rake in £250,000 on Wednesday night.

Thu, 17:57

George Michael superfans are preparing to celebrate his life at two events on Sunday, ahead of what would have been the pop icon’s 55th birthday.

Thu, 17:28

Workers have reportedly been living on a construction site in Abercorn Estate in St John’s Wood.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

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