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The sad demise of Honrsey Hospital

PUBLISHED: 14:15 23 May 2007 | UPDATED: 14:32 07 September 2010

Behind the hoardings, Hornsey Central Hospital is being knocked down. A new building will take its place. But the replacement services will fall far short of what was originally promised. The plans are for little more than a super-size GP surgery and a ph

Behind the hoardings, Hornsey Central Hospital is being knocked down. A new building will take its place. But the replacement services will fall far short of what was originally promised. The plans are for little more than a super-size GP surgery and a pharmacy, plus a dementia day centre to be funded by a charity. There may be some other services, like health advice. But there won't be any hospital beds. There won't be sheltered housing for older people. There won't be respite care for disabled people and carers.

But commercial developments are on the cards for the new building. The local health authorities are looking into options to sell off the second floor of the new building for residential flats for private sale. There are also proposals for some of the building to be rented out as commercial offices.

Hornsey Central Hospital used to be a much-loved local cottage hospital delivering local medical, minor surgery, physiotherapy and primary health care. The future of the hospital site is still unclear. But what is clear is that the new scheme will not be devoted to providing the range of health care and support which Haringey Teaching Primary Care Trust led us to believe we would have.

The new scheme on the old hospital site is being done through a public/private partnership called Elevate Partnerships. This is a joint venture between the local health authorities and GB Consortium - a private sector consortium. Elevate Partnership is demolishing the hospital and will lease the new building back to the Trust for a lucrative 25 years of guaranteed income. According to local health trust documents, the land has been disposed of to Elevate for £2.5 million. But the Primary Care Trust has made a £2million capital contribution to the works so Elevate seems to have got the land for just half a million pounds!

To help fund the new scheme, the former nurses' home and an additional plot of land have now been sold together with Fortis Green Clinic. Its services are being split up and scattered around. They might come to the new Hornsey Hospital in future but people in Muswell Hill and Fortis Green will have to travel further instead of having services close by. It makes a mockery of the Government's policy of local close-to-home health provision.

What's happening to Hornsey Hospital is a powerful reminder of the running down and selling off of NHS services and buildings across the country. It's good news for the shareholders of the companies involved but bad news for people in West Haringey who need respite care, rehabilitation and other services we were promised.

It is Government policy to promote the involvement of private companies across many parts of the NHS and, of course, NHS budgets are being squeezed. So Haringey Teaching Primary Care Trust has been put in a position of reducing costs and doing deals with companies who have their own commercial interests at heart.

In this scheme, for example, there will be guaranteed long-term profits for the firms involved, whilst we - the public - are not getting the services we were originally promised.

The situation is made worse by the Primary Care Trust failing to consult local people properly about what health services we need and which ones should be in the new scheme.

There is a great deal that we can do to challenge these decisions.

Talk to your GP, lobby your MP, write to your ward councillors. You can also attend board meetings at the Haringey Teaching Primary Care Trust. You can find out more about the board discussions by going to:

www.haringey.nhs.uk/press_room/public_meetings/2007/index.shtm

And you can join the Better Local Healthcare Campaign by emailing janet.rmshapiro@btopenworld.com or calling 020 8883 9571 or by logging on to our website: www.better localhealthcarecampaign.org

Submitted by

Mike George &

Linda Lennard

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