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


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.


Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:05
Year 6 pupils interview the school's Site Manager, Robbie Robinson, about his memories of the Apollo missions

Pupils at Vittoria Primary School, Islington, are keen to talk to people who remember the Apollo space missions and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon for a history project.

Yesterday, 14:28
Prince Philip presents Dr Alasdair Harris with the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award

The founder of an Islington-based charity was this week presented with the 2015 Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Yesterday, 12:30
Former Dragons' Den star Doug Richard arrives at the Old Bailey, London, for a plea and case management hearing after he was accused of child sex charges. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A former Dragons’ Den star from Islington this morning denied paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a “Sugar Daddy” website.

Yesterday, 11:30
Handing in the petition against the closure of Caledonian Road Station: Cllr Paul Convery, Cllr Claudia Webbe, Jennette Arnold AM, Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Cllr Paul Smith, Cllr Una O’'Halloran, and Cllr Diarmaid Ward

The fight to keep Caledonian Road Station open continues on Thursday.

Yesterday, 09:33
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

A damning report by health inspectors has revealed a culture of “harassment and bullying” in London’s ambulance service and called for it to be placed into special measures.

Yesterday, 07:00
Cllr Andy Hull

Jobs will be lost as a result of the budget cuts announced in Wednesday’s Spending Review, a councillor has said.

Thu, 15:52
Ashley Walters at the launch of the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Academy at Stoke Newington School in 2012. Picture: Carmen Valino

Rapper and actor Ashley Walters will appear at crown court over two accusations of threatening behaviour and one of racially aggravated harassment in Upper Street’s Hilton Hotel on May 3.

Thu, 12:49
Cllr Richard Watts

More than 1,000 of Islington’s unemployed have found jobs in the last year, thanks to a council-led scheme.

Most read news


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder