Search

Whittington Health row: Protester threatens ‘massive campaign’ if hospital does deal with Grenfell-linked firm

PUBLISHED: 18:11 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:17 02 November 2017

Defend the Whittington Hospital protesters gather outside the Whittington Hospital yesterday ahead of a board meeting at the hospital. Picture: Polly Hancock

Defend the Whittington Hospital protesters gather outside the Whittington Hospital yesterday ahead of a board meeting at the hospital. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A campaign leader has vowed to ramp up resistance after the trust that runs the Whittington Hospital ignored calls to get out of a deal with a company linked to Grenfell Tower firm Rydon.

Defend the Whittington Hospital protesters hold a 'Keep Rydon Out of the Whittington Hospital' banner above the heads of Steve Hitchins (chairman) and Siobhan Harrington (chief executive) as they raise their concerns at a board meeting. Picture: Polly Hancock Defend the Whittington Hospital protesters hold a 'Keep Rydon Out of the Whittington Hospital' banner above the heads of Steve Hitchins (chairman) and Siobhan Harrington (chief executive) as they raise their concerns at a board meeting. Picture: Polly Hancock

Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition (DWHC) members lobbied a meeting of the trust’s board yesterday. Shirley Franklin told the Ham&High: “We will have a massive campaign if they go ahead with this deal. We demand they withdraw this contract.”

They are furious at a decision to hand Ryhurst a contract to oversee building improvement work. Its parent firm Rydon was behind a 2016 refurb of the Kensington tower where at least 70 people died in a fire in June.

Thirty people attended a rally outside the hospital ahead of the meeting.

Waving their placards they then marched into the board meeting where two campaigners took up position behind chair Steve Hitchins and chief exec Siobhan Harrington unfurling a banner which read: ‘Keep Rydon out of Whittington Hospital’.

Chief executive Siobhan Harrington speaks at the board meeting. Picture: Polly Hancock Chief executive Siobhan Harrington speaks at the board meeting. Picture: Polly Hancock

Ms Franklin then attacked trust bosses for making a “disgusting” decision which was “a total insult” to the community.

But trust chiefs hit back saying if the plans didn’t go ahead “essential” building work would be delayed whilst the search for a new partner was undertaken with financial penalties resulting from a Ryhurst contract break.

When asked about the possibility of Rydon’s work on Grenfell Tower being singled out as responsible for the fatal blaze the board members countered that they had carried out all the necessary checks, or due diligence, expected. Rydon and Ryhurst have since declined to comment.

Ms Harrington said: “It is very important we engage with our community during the process of redeveloping our estate. We want people to have the opportunity to tell us what they want from our services and the buildings in which they are located. We will be letting people know how they can be involved over the coming months.

“The trust board invited DWHC to its meeting to have the opportunity to hear their concerns. Over the two hours of questioning, the board responded with facts to the concerns raised. I understand other people may share the concerns raised by the DWHC. It is important therefore that the wider community has the opportunity to hear the responses to the questions, and we will be publishing these on the trust’s website.”

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:35

Every Sunday from this weekend until September will see an exciting free musical performance at the Regent’s Park bandstand.

Yesterday, 15:52

In a new weekly feature, we speak to the people behind some of Hampstead and Highgate’s best small businesses. This week, we spoke to two photographers helping youngsters get behind the camera.

Yesterday, 15:25

Hundreds attended Highgate’s annual Fair in the Square at the weekend, sponsored by the Ham&High.

Yesterday, 13:46

Adam Solomons speaks to those commemorating the German philosopher.

Yesterday, 11:49

After months of delays, disruption and the dreaded rail replacement bus, commutes are finally set to get better for London Overground passengers.

Yesterday, 10:20

The families of two graffiti artists from Muswell Hill and Hampstead who were killed at Loughborough Junction station on Monday, have paid tribute to them.

Tue, 17:45

Neighbours and community groups have raised concerns over the sale of former Branch Hill House care home in Hampstead.

Tue, 14:44

The senior coroner for inner north London Mary Hassell is set to hold a public consultation into the new policy for how she should deal with deaths in the area, but has only given people a matter of days to send in written submissions.

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