July 31 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
The chairman of the trust in charge of the Whittington Hospital has denied covering up a potential conflict of interest after it emerged he had not fully declared being on the payroll of his MEP wife.
Steve Hitchins, who joined Whittington Health in December, confirmed he worked for his wife, London MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford – despite the role not appearing on the trust’s formal Register of Interests.
Baroness Ludford is an active promoter of legislation currently being negotiated in the EU that campaigners claim will “carve up” the NHS to private companies.
It has led to accusations that Mr Hitchins was attempting to “cover up” the link – thus preventing the spread of longstanding accusations made by Whittington campaigners that he has a hidden agenda to open up the hospital to privatisation.
Mr Hitchins denied the accusation, saying: “I’ve always been completely open and transparent with the trust about the work I do with my wife.
“I’ve worked for my wife for the past eight years and it’s listed in the public domain on her website.”
For the full story, see the next edition of the Ham&High newspaper (out tomorrow).