Search

Whittington Hospital boss faces storm for being on MEP wife’s payroll

10:00 15 May 2014

Steve Hitchins

Steve Hitchins

Archant

NHS campaigners are “incredibly concerned” after it emerged that the chairman of the Whittington Hospital had not declared being on the payroll of his MEP wife.

Steve Hitchins, who joined Whittington Health in December, confirmed this week that he had received payments from his wife, London MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford, that do not appear on the hospital trust’s register of interests, but claimed that he had not accepted any payment since taking on his Whittington role.

Board members are required to “declare any conflict of interest that arises in the course of conducting NHS business”.

Upon joining Whittington Health, the trust that runs the hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, Mr Hitchins declared interests in roles for housing trusts, charities and membership of the Liberal Democrats. Also listed is his consultancy firm, Steve Hitchins Ltd.

But under the heading “conflict of interests that may arise out of any known family involvement”, there is written “nil”.

Dr Louise Irvine, London MEP candidate for the National Health Action Party, who campaigned outside the hospital on Tuesday, said: “Our party is incredibly concerned that the chairman of the Whittington didn’t declare receiving a salary from someone who appears so actively committed to legislation that leaves NHS services open to private companies.”

Mr Hitchins denied this, saying: “I’ve always been completely open and transparent with the trust about the work I do with my wife.

“I only get paid £20,000 for my work at the Whittington, which means I only spend three days a week there, so I have time to do other things.

‘‘I’ve worked for my wife for the past eight years; it’s listed in the public domain on her website.”

Baroness Ludford is an active promoter of legislation currently being negotiated in the EU that campaigners claim will “carve up” the NHS to private companies.

Two weeks ago, the Ham&High reported that prospective MEP candidates for the National Health Action Party in this month’s elections view the legislation being drafted as a key threat to the NHS “remaining a public service”.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a landmark EU-US free trade agreement being negotiated between Brussels and Washington.

It would allow transatlantic companies to bid for NHS contracts and sue the government should its actions affect profit.

Baroness Ludford is a key promoter of the legislation and vice-chairman of the EU delegation to the United States.

She has always insisted it would “not make the NHS vulnerable to privatisation”.

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 News Stories

Yesterday, 16:30
Two new train strikes are planned for June 4 and June 9  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

Network Rail workers are to stage two strikes next month after a new pay offer was rejected.

Yesterday, 15:51
Alan Cartwright was knifed to death in February

18-year-old set for court appearance today following Alan’s brutal stabbing in February

Yesterday, 09:03
Councillor Paul Convery said the young offenders service and probation must improve

Most crimes committed by “small group of persistent offenders”

Yesterday, 08:12
Friends paid tribute Joe Walker at the spot where he was killed

A teenage boy has been given a 12-month-detention order for his part in the death of Joe Walker, a 17-year-old from Stroud Green who was killed in a road crash last October.

Most read news

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder