Search

Campaigners angry after Whittington Health announces deal with firm owned by Grenfell Tower contractor Rydon

PUBLISHED: 20:17 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:08 25 October 2017

Bosses at the trust running The Whittington Hospital in Archway have come under fire from campaigners after it was revealed they had struck a deal with a company linked to Rydon. Picture: STEVE PARSONS/PA ARCHIVE

Bosses at the trust running The Whittington Hospital in Archway have come under fire from campaigners after it was revealed they had struck a deal with a company linked to Rydon. Picture: STEVE PARSONS/PA ARCHIVE

PA Archive/PA Images

The trust that runs The Whittington Hospital has sparked outrage among campaigners after they discovered it had decided to team up with a firm linked to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Siobhan Harrington, the CEO of Whittington Health, denied a campaigner's claim the deal was Siobhan Harrington, the CEO of Whittington Health, denied a campaigner's claim the deal was "a sell-off".

Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition (DWHC) campaigners, who have twice won battles with Whittington Health bosses over cuts, are furious at the “secret” decision to award Ryhurst a contract to oversee building work. Its parent firm Rydon was behind a 2016 refurb of the Kensington tower where at least 70 people died in a fire in June.

DWHC chair Shirley Franklin, who was in a meeting with Whittington chief exec Siobhan Harrington when the decision was revealed, said: “We want a state of the art hospital but we object to Rydon making money out of the hospital. The company is tainted. I’m so angry. We spent three years trying to get relationships between the hospital and the community on an even keel. This deal has blown that sky high. This is a smack in the face.”

But Ms Harrington defended Ryhurst’s appointment, saying the selection decision was made three days before the Grenfell Tower fire after a 12-month procurement.

She said hospital bosses paused the process after the fire with managers twice taking legal advice and talking to staff before deciding to push ahead.

“Ryhurst had the most national experience and understood the local area and importance of our clinical strategy,” Ms Harrington said. Campaigners have called the deal a “sell-off”, but Ms Harrington countered: “It’s absolutely not a sell-off. It’s about developing our site so it’s fit for purpose. It’s important to us we keep our assets.”

Under the terms of the deal, lasting up to 10 years and yet to be signed off by NHS Improvement, Ryhurst fronts cash and helps appoint contractors, and will be repaid “what it puts in” when contracts end.

The hospital website says the plans, referred to as a strategic estates partnership (SEP), differ from a private finance initiative (PFI) as assets won’t be transferred to the joint venture.

Ms Harrington added the Whittington would keep control over the choice of contractors.

Asked what Ryhurst gains from the deal, Ms Harrington said only that the firm would benefit from a “long-term relationship with an NHS trust”. Rydon and Ryhurst declined to comment.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Lee Jay Hatley’s alleged murderer accidentally knifed him in a “scuffle”, a court heard today.

Yesterday, 16:14

Two moped thugs from Islington have been locked up for more than three years after being chased and caught with 17 stolen phones.

Yesterday, 12:49

Migrants who arrive in Islington face a daunting prospect: mountains of government paperwork in a language they often aren’t familiar with; a ban on getting certain state benefits; and no legal help.

Yesterday, 11:50

Two homeless women who had been sleeping under the Stroud Green Road bridge for a year have been offered housing – weeks after the Gazette published the tragic stories of how they had ended up there.

Yesterday, 11:43

Dozens of new council homes were unveiled on Finsbury’s King Square Estate yesterday as part of a major regeneration.

Yesterday, 10:17

Islington is notorious for brutally high rent. But a brilliant yoga centre for people with special needs has been given a brand new premises for just £1,000 a year.

Wed, 19:01

It was a lesson in politics for a set of inquisitive youngsters during a visit to the council chamber at Islington Town Hall.

Wed, 15:42

Today, it’s the pricey trampoline park that has the Sobell in the headlines. Four (and a bit) decades ago, it opened amid similar protests about how much it would cost. In between, it played a crucial role in Britain’s decision to join and then leave the EEC and the EU. The Gazette chats to 1970s Sobell manager Hywel Griffiths.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

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