Lynne Featherstone MP secures assurances from Whittington Hospital

Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr David Winskill (Haringey Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Health) outside the Whittington hospital with the Liberal Democrat petition. Following a meeting with Lynne Featherstone MP and Cllr David Winskill, the Whittington Hospital has offered assurances that no services will be lost during their reorganization until equal or better replacement services are in place.

The Whittington Board, who recently announced controversial plans to sell off hospital buildings, have now agreed to run a full public engagement programme, and agreed to listen to views about the future use of the surplus estate.

The assurances come in response to a petition led by Lynne Featherstone MP and the Haringey Liberal Democrats, signed by 2000 local people.

At the meeting, the Liberal Democrat MP and members of the Board discussed the plans in detail. They include commitments to:

•           spend £10 million on improving the maternity unit over 5 years;

•           invest £2.9 million in a same day treatment centre, to support A&E;

•           relocate Physiotherapy and some occupational therapy services to new buildings.

The Board also gave very strong assurances that there will be no loss to the Hospital’s A&E service, and that the number of births will be maintained at current levels to meet expected needs.

The plans are being implemented to support the Hospital’s foundation trust bid, as the Board seek to secure a future as a full service hospital and integrated care provider.

As part of their public involvement programme, the Board have agreed to attend a public meeting in early March, organised by the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“It is such a shame that the Board did not engage properly with their staff, local politicians and local residents. They should have done this from day one.

“I have met with the Board, and in response they have given assurances that no services will be lost until equal or better replacement services are in place.

“Though very late, these assurances are welcome. The Board’s task is now to convince the public through an extensive engagement programme. I am holding a public meeting, which will take place at the beginning of March, so that they can explain their plans directly to everyone.”

Cllr David Winskill added:

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Whittington to our communities. Having listened carefully to their proposals I am confident that the changes will support improved health facilities and better outcomes for patients.

“Lynne and I stressed how crucial it is to involve patients, carers and the wider community in these decisions and we will be looking to the Whittington to deliver on their promise to do so.”

Dr Yi Mien Koh, chief executive of Whittington Health, said:

“The future of the Whittington Hospital as part of the Trust lies in meeting the health needs of the local community within the Whittington’s resources.

“As an NHS organisation dedicated to serving our local communities, we want to share our ambitions for Whittington Health widely, listen to local opinion and reflect on their views. This is why we welcome the chance to participate in a public meeting with Lynne Featherstone MP.

“Our strategy will enable the Whittington Hospital to thrive as we continue to provide high-quality patient services safely, efficiently and effectively as close to people’s homes as possible.”

Joe Liddane, chairman of Whittington Health’s Board, said:

“I, like many of the board, live locally. We all have families and have a vested interest in the ongoing success of the Whittington Hospital. I can assure everyone that we are working very hard to do what is best for its future.

“Foundation Trust status will help secure the Whittington Hospital’s future. By using our resources more effectively we can release £17m to invest in services including £10m in maternity and new facilities to help premature babies have a better chance of life.

“A further £2.9m will be spent on an ‘ambulatory care’ centre next door to A&E, due to open in October. It will treat more people on the same day without the inconvenience of an overnight hospital stay.”

Mr Liddane added: “Local GPs back us and tell us that our plans will benefit the community.”

3 thoughts on “Lynne Featherstone MP secures assurances from Whittington Hospital

  1. 1. Job losses of 600, including 25 Hospital Consultants but “no services will be lost”.
    2. Closing 2 care of the elderly wards, a gynaecology ward and a post-natal ward, but “no services will be lost”.
    3. Sell off of Jenner Building, with offices for many clinical teams but “no services will be lost”.
    4. Average time a Chief Executive stays at the Whittington Hospital – 3 years.
    Lynne – do you really believe them?

  2. So , no sell-off of hospital property?
    Not a single bed to go?
    Hospital retained to meet the health care needs of local population?
    No bed impact on other local hospitals?

    It feels like there is an attempt to hoodwink the Whittington community into believing that we are getting a better health resource. We welcome improvements, but not a loss of hospital beds. hospital property, hospital staff.
    The Whittington is a victim of the cuts of your Government and of the dreadful Health and Social Care legislation.

  3. Shirley Franklin’s last comment is naive. The Whittington problems are not because of government cuts but lack of vision and selfish internal politics which started at least as long ago as the early 90’s. I am retired from the Whittington, which was the last NHS hospital in which I worked (I worked in more than 5). Over the last 25 years I have seen Chief Executives plunder resources from hospitals and then move on to the next hospital to do the same, yet each CE costs the NHS at least £250,000. It is not this government that is causing the problems, unless you include Sir David Nicholson (personally I think he should be removed from that position ASAP). I feel that governments do have a role to play, though it is the senior staff at each hospital who need to set examples of high standards of care and efficiency. When heads of departments stay in position because they are going to retire in a few years, yet are incapable of doing their jobs properly (not all of them of course), are not up to date with their own technology and best standards of practice then Chief Executives need to be able to remove them from post. I know of heads of department who are wasteful and completely out of touch with the way in which they should be working. This filters down to the staff working with them and from what I have seen over the years, the rot starts and ends at the top, from something as simple and devastating as cleanliness (some doctors STILL not washing their hands between patients) and waste of resources, lack of proper audit, and managers taking a ‘holyer than thou’ approach. There are wards and spaces in the main hospital not being used, but selling the Jenner Building is absurd!!! It should be made into a multistorey car park and the hospital can make some money from parking, surely? The Whittington could be a better health resource, consultants should be audited to see if they are actually on site when they should be, and managers should be held to account when they are inefficient. Some of the departments need to be rearranged regarding space, since there has never been (while I was working there) decent consultation between departments in order to design efficient use of space – some space is really wasted and some departments are squashed into inappropriate areas. Some areas such as Physiotherapy are severely lacking basic equipment. I could go on ………

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