Search

Campaigners boycott talks with board over Whittington Hospital sell off

PUBLISHED: 18:30 03 June 2013 | UPDATED: 18:45 03 June 2013

Hospital bosses are considering the sell off of a third of the Whittington Hospital site as part of the application for Foundation Trust status. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Hospital bosses are considering the sell off of a third of the Whittington Hospital site as part of the application for Foundation Trust status. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton

Campaigners opposed to plans to sell off almost a third of the Whittington Hospital site have boycotted a meeting with health bosses.

Shirley Franklin leads Whittington Hospital Demo Shirley Franklin leads Whittington Hospital Demo

Members of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition (DWHC) said they had to pull-out of a meeting with the board of Whittington Health, the trust which runs the hospital, because hospital bosses “were adamant about controlling every aspect of it”.

The meeting, which was scheduled to take place tonight, had been organised to discuss details of the hospital’s latest application to become a Foundation Trust.

As part of the proposals, the Whittington Hospital plans to sell off a third of its buildings and close three wards to make savings of around £5million.

Chair of DWHC, Shirley Franklin, said it was meant to be a joint meeting chaired by Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, and an opportunity to voice concerns to the board.

Whittington Hospital chief executive Joe Liddane was 'surprised and disappointed' by campaigners' decision not to attend the meeting Whittington Hospital chief executive Joe Liddane was 'surprised and disappointed' by campaigners' decision not to attend the meeting

Chair of Whittington Health Joe Liddane said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the group’s decision to decline their offer of a meeting, which he said “would have been beneficial to both the DWHC and to our board”.

In an email sent to Mr Liddane, Ms Franklin wrote: “We had understood that this would be a joint meeting, chaired by Jeremy Corbyn. You have said that this is not acceptable. “We do not think that your format would allow us to voice our concerns to the whole board, and that our position will not be incorporated into the new Foundation Trust plans.

“Further the committee is concerned about the meeting’s proposed structure, with break-out groups.”

The email continued: “It is felt that this format would not allow access to all for discussion and could involve individual persuasive techniques as to positive outcomes of what DWHC considers is likely to be an unacceptable plan, especially if it involves selling our hospital land, reducing staff and beds, as well as early discharge.”

In response, Mr Liddane said: “I was surprised and disappointed to receive your email declining the Whittington Health board’s offer of a meeting.

“The opportunity to discuss the five year plans that we are working on, and which underpin our application to become a Foundation Trust, would have been beneficial to both the DWHC and to our board.

“We genuinely wish to hear your views about the difficult issues that we face.

“You seem to have made a number of pre-judgements – that we will not listen to your concerns, that your views will not be taken into account, and that our eventual plans will be unacceptable to you.

“It is regrettable that you might approach a meeting from a stance of such mistrust.”

The campaign group has also called on the trust to reveal how much is being spent on private consultancy firm Ernst and Young, which has been employed to help the hospital re-draft its sell-off proposals.

Mr Liddane, who worked at the company 20 years ago, said he was “completely apart from the procurement process” and the terms of the contract were commercially confidential.

A revised strategy for the trust’s foundation trust application is set to be announced in July.

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

13:01

A Finsbury pub has sacked off all meat and dairy to go 100 per cent vegan.

10:08

A huge ceramic tile installation will grace the new City North development next to Finsbury Park station when it opens in early 2020.

A BMW went up in flames this morning after a nearby gas cylinder was knocked over and caught fire in Offord Road, Barnsbury.

Yesterday, 17:25

If you supported Arsenal or had an N5 postcode in 1988, it’s almost certain you’ll remember the “Battle of Highbury”.

Yesterday, 12:52

A brave six-year-old girl foiled a kidnapper who tried to snatch her friends.

Yesterday, 12:11

The government has said maintenance work at Pentonville prison will continue as normal after contractor Carillion went into liquidation.

Yesterday, 10:09

An end is finally in sight after two years of closures on the Gospel Oak to Barking Overground line, which has reopened today for what commuters hope is the last time.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

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