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The Whittington could be taken over by another hospital if its does not push ahead with its controversial money-making plans, its boss has revealed.

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Joe Liddane, chairman of Whittington Health, warned it was in danger of being swallowed up by the Royal Free, Homerton or UCLH.

Mr Liddane told the Gazette: “This is absolutely not scaremongering. We are local residents. We all want the Whittington to survive.

“This is a fight for its future. This is a fight for its survival.”

All hospitals must become self-governing foundation trusts by April 2014 or they will be forced to become part of an existing foundation trust. The Royal Free, UCLH and Homerton are already foundation trusts.

The Whittington fears it will not be allowed to become a foundation trust unless it runs more efficiently and invests in its key services.

It proposes selling buildings on the north of the site to raise around £17million, £10million of which will go on the ageing maternity and neo-natal unit, £2.9million on a day treatment centre for people with urgent medical conditions and £3.6million on an education centre for trainee doctors and nurses.

It will also provide more care for long-term or chronic conditions in clinics and patients’ homes, enabling it to cut beds and staff.

Shirley Franklin, of the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, said she “did not care” who provided the service, as long as there was a full hospital on the site.

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