The Whittington Board recently announced its intentions to sell off a third of the Hospital site and reduce the number of and staff at the hospital. It came as a shock to politicians, residents and staff alike and caused a great deal of concern.
It was, of course, only three years ago that we took to the streets to march, petition and fight against the Labour Government’s proposed closure of the Whittington A&E. We were successful then, as the community made it clear how important the hospital is to them.
Now the Hospital faces another challenge. But this is not the same as three years ago. The A&E is not under threat. And also – this time it is nothing to do with the Government (although many on the march with a purely political agenda would tell you otherwise.)
The Whittington Board have said that they are making these changes in order to improve their chances of becoming a Foundation Trust, which would secure a long term future for the Hospital.
We want the Hospital to be successful – and to be clear, we do not oppose selling off derelict buildings and using the money to improve maternity, for instance. Some changes could be positive and better for patients.
But we do have serious concerns about other parts of the plans, and we have some demands.
The Haringey Lib Dems and I are running a campaign to reflect these concerns. We don’t want any service lost without an equal or better replacement in place. We have serious concerns about how moving care into the community will be managed, and whether the appropriate social care would be provided. We also want the Whittington to go back to square one and consult residents.
That’s what we’ve been petitioning for, and we have collected 2,500 signatures so far. The future of the Whittington hospital and good quality health and social care is our priority. That’s the message we wanted to put across at the march, and this is the campaign we will continue to pursue.
You can sign the petition here.