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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt told to explain himself over Whittington cuts

PUBLISHED: 15:18 07 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:19 07 March 2013

The Whittington Hospital

The Whittington Hospital

Archant

The secretary of state for health has today been told to explain himself to the people of Islington over cuts to the Whittington Hospital.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been asked to appear before Islington Council’s health scrutiny committee to answer questions about plans to scrap buildings, wards and beds, cut staff and cap births.

Cllr Martin Klute (Labour), who chairs the committee, said it is pressure stemming from Mr Hunt’s department that is driving the Whittington’s controversial proposals.

Cllr Klute, who represents St Peter’s ward, said: “We believe that’s at the bottom of it and we need him to answer questions.

“We do feel he’s responsible. It’s our impression that the Whittington has been more or less forced into this position by the government.”

He added: “We have a suspicion that in fact, by making all these cuts, the hospital is being set up to fail, in order to put it into the hands of private providers.”

The scrutiny committee meets at 7.30pm on March 25 at the town hall.

In a letter posted to Mr Hunt today, Cllr Klute wrote: “We are deeply concerned about the recently announced and totally unexpected plans.

“Residents and stakeholders are in a state of disbelief that these cuts are necessary or possible. We would like you to come and explain how these cuts can be justified.”

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