News has broken about the Whittington Hospital. At a Camden Council meeting last night, the Hospital’s medical director Dr Greg Battle told councillors that there has been a ‘complete rethink’ of their strategy.
The controversial hospital strategy – announced in January without consultation – would have seen hospital buildings sold and money reinvested in other services. It also included a reduction in hospital staff and beds, as more care is moved into the community.
Understandably this caused great concern. That’s why the Lib Dems and I campaigned for months to get the hospital to listen to residents – and for no loss of services. After presenting our petition signatures, the hospital agreed to engage residents in their plans, take their views on board and amend their strategy accordingly.
Dr Battle’s comments indicate that this has happened – and in that respect, a rethink is welcome – and potentially a great success for the Lib Dems and local residents.
However, I would urge everyone to err on the side of caution at the moment. Dr Battle has pre-empted the hospital’s official announcement – and we do not know the full details yet. I am meeting the board on Friday, and will be sure to get confirmation and assurances then.
I have also contacted the acting Chairman and Chief Executive of the hospital to attempt to get concrete information more quickly.
Watch this space.