Search

Author Owen Jones puts weight behind battle to save Whittington Hospital

16:48 06 February 2013

Best-selling author Owen Jones has said it will be a

Best-selling author Owen Jones has said it will be a 'double whammy' for patients if wards are closed and almost half the Whittington Hospital site is sold off

Archant

Writer and broadcaster Owen Jones is taking up the fight to save The Whittington Hospital.

Mr Jones, a best-selling author, current affairs show regular and Independent columnist, has said it will be a “double whammy” for patients if half The Whittington Hospital site is sold off and wards are closed.

The left-wing campaigner, who wrote Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class, said: “It’s clearly a hospital right in the centre of the community. No wonder that back in 2010, thousands of people took to the streets to save its accident and emergency department.

“I am absolutely committed to saving that hospital. It’s part of a wider fight against the attack on the NHS by this Government.

“Despite Tory claims that they were going to protect NHS budgets in real terms, we are going to see the biggest squeeze on budgets since the war.”

Whittington Health, the trust that manages the hospital and 30 health centres in Islington and Haringey, has decided to sell half the hospital site in Magdala Avenue, Archway, to raise £17million, cap births at 4,000 a year, close three wards and relocate essential services elsewhere in the hospital.

In a letter sent on Tuesday to Shirley Franklin, chairwoman of the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, Whittington Health chairman Joe Liddane said: “The hospital will continue to provide emergency and acute care but long-term conditions and the elderly will be increasingly treated in the community. This represents the care of the future.”

But Mr Jones, who lives in Cheverton Road, Archway, and who used the hospital only recently when he needed his wrist X-rayed following a bicycle accident, has rejected this claim.

He said: “I don’t accept that people can receive care at home. Local authorities are cutting back on carers for the elderly and disabled. So if there are cutbacks at the hospital as well, it will be a double whammy.”

Mr Jones will be speaking at a campaign meeting being held by the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition.

Ms Franklin, who has gathered 1,000 signatures against the sale, welcomed Mr Jones’s support saying: “It’s nice to see people with such commitment.”

Whittington Health’s decision to sell off the hospital land comes as it prepares for self-governing Foundation Trust status, for which it needs to save £4.8million by March.

But Whittington Health chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh said money from the sales, which will not happen until 2015, “will be ploughed into elderly care, maternity services and accident and emergency.”

*The Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition is holding a public meeting at Archway Methodist Church Hall, Archway Close, Archway, at 7.30pm on February 12.

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Fabric nightclub in Charterhouse Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

Two 18-year-old boys who died after taking ecstasy at Fabric had bought the class A drug from strangers inside the Farringdon club, where substance abuse is rife and security lax, an explosive report today alleges.

Yesterday, 16:11
Emergency services and displaced commuters outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station (Picture: Sam Gelder)

A commuter has described his horror at seeing a boy attacked on a bus in Caledonian Road, in an incident believed to be linked to a stabbing on a nearby Overground platform.

Yesterday, 15:12
John Ball, pictured on January 31, on the balcony of the second floor flat in which he died

Firefighters called to a housing block three times could not have saved the alcoholic found dead in his soot-covered flat the next day, a coroner has ruled.

Emergency services and displaced commuters outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station (Picture: Sam Gelder)

Two boys are believed to have been stabbed in a group fight at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station this afternoon, leaving one seriously injured while another fled onto a passing bus.

Thu, 13:19
Angela Sinclair 92 years old @  Save Whittington Hospital March

A stalwart campaigner for social justice who continued going on protest marches into her 90s has died.

Thu, 13:02
Masjid Al-risaalah mosque and Islington Islamic Centre. (Picture: Google Maps).

A man in his late 40s was stabbed outside a Holloway mosque in broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon.

Thu, 06:00
GCSE results are out tomorrow

Teenagers across the country face one of the most nerve-racking days of their young lives today with the publication of GCSE results.

Wed, 18:03
Experts estimate the Holloway Prison site would be worth £2billion as housing

The days when people will be paying to live in Holloway Prison, rather than being forced to, came one step closer after the Ministry of Justice appointed property agent Bilfinger GVA to advise on the sale of the site.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now