Whittington Hospital accused of ‘silencing’ staff over sell-off and ward closure plans

16:35 06 February 2013

(From left)  Shirley Franklin of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, MP for Holborn and St Pancras Frank Dobson, firefighter Dan Giblin and Candy Udwin of Camden Keep Our NHS Public at the Camden NHS meeting. Picture: Dieter Perry

(From left) Shirley Franklin of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, MP for Holborn and St Pancras Frank Dobson, firefighter Dan Giblin and Candy Udwin of Camden Keep Our NHS Public at the Camden NHS meeting. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

Campaigners have claimed staff at The Whittington are being “terrorised” by senior management, who have scared them off joining the campaign to save the hospital.

As the battle to stop nearly half the hospital site from being sold, wards closed and a cap on births gathers pace, a meeting to discuss defending the NHS in Camden was held at Camden Town Hall on Monday (February 4).

The meeting was led by Frank Dobson, MP for Holborn and St Pancras; Shirley Franklin, chairman of Defend The Whittington Hospital Coalition and Candy Udwin of Camden Keep Our NHS Public (KONP).

Speaking about staff at the hospital, in Magdala Avenue, Highgate, Ms Franklin said: “We have links with them, but they are being terrorised in the hospital.

“They were told not to come to our demo, they think they will get sacked. It’s about confidence, people need to feel confident.”

She added: “We need to work with trade unions and community groups and workers at the hospital to stop the sell-off.

“Workers are essential, but management at the unit are threatening them if they have anything to do with this. People are feeling insecure about using their emails and talking to us.”

But The Whittington said it had robust policies in place to allow staff to raise concerns.

Speaking after the meeting, a spokesman said: “We have a culture of openness and honesty and we encourage staff to raise any issues they have.

“In addition we have a robust whistle-blowing policy which protects any staff member who raises a concern. As an organisation we take bullying and harassment extremely seriously.”

The board of Whittington Health, the organisation that runs the hospital, has agreed plans to sell the north half of the hospital site and nurses accommodation, to close three wards, to cap births at 4,000 a year and cut the number of hospital beds.

The plan is known as the Estates Strategy and hospital chiefs say it is part of a wider drive to move care into the community.

Labour MP Mr Dobson, who has spoken out against the plans, said he was worried that the land might be used for a private hospital, which would “muscle out our health services”, as it already has health buildings on it.

He said: “This government is determined to break up the NHS and basically privatise it so it’s all franchised out.

“They are using the excuse of the banking crisis to do whatever they want to and they have destroyed the Welfare State.”

He added: “We need to keep hammering away. We need to urge people to join us in to supporting The Whittington campaign.”

A petition set up by Defend The Whittington Hospital Coalition to save the hospital now has more than 1,000 signatures and volunteers will be assembling outside Sainsbury’s, in Camden Town, on Saturday morning, to gather more names.

The first public meeting to discuss opposing the Whittington sell-off will be held in the Archway Methodist Hall, Archway Close, on Tuesday, February 12 at 7.30pm. The chief executive of Whittington Health is expected to attend.


Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

51 minutes ago

They say the allegations are part of a smear campaign against them by cyclists who want to see CS11 implemented in North West London.

Yesterday, 18:23

A banned pet owner who crammed dozens of animals into her filthy Crouch Hill home has been spared jail – again.

Yesterday, 13:38

Plans to double the size of Brent Cross Shopping Centre in a £1.4billion makeover have been revealed by its owners today.

Yesterday, 12:52

The husband of West Hampstead mum Nazanin Ratcliffe has won the backing of more than 100 British politicians in calling for foreign secretary Boris Johnson to secure her release from a five-year jail sentence in Iran.

Yesterday, 11:17

Plans to develop Hornsey Town Hall into a hotel were approved by Haringey Cabinet on Tuesday, despite an impassioned last minute plea from campaigners

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cyclists say they are lucky nobody was seriously injured after tacks were discovered on the roads inside Regents Park as the row over a proposed new cycle superhighway in north west London escalates.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mental health campaigner Marjorie Wallace may have just won a Woman of the Year award, but she believes care is not much better than 30 years ago

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A colourful man-about-town has reformed his fringe political party on the back of the Brexit result - which he said is “a step in the right direction” towards abolishing the existing system

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


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


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

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?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now