Half of Whittington Hospital to be sold off

Boardmembers gave the go ahead for half the Whittington Hospital to be sold off at a meeting yesterday (January 23).

Accommodation for nurses will be sold and beds for patients will be reduced as wards in the north of the hospitals will be closed.

The Whittington will also cap births to 4000 per year to save money.

The buildings to be sold off are worth £17million.

The board papers addressing the plan known as the “Estates Strategy” states that all buildings in the north site will be closed by 2016.

A five-year plan will see the the services relocate to existing space in the south of the hospital.

Included in the closures, will be the Murray Ward, which provides bed used for post-natal care, the Betty Mansell women’s health ward and Cloudsley and Meyrick which provides outpatient services for the elderly.

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The Nurses Home, which has 34 rooms for staff, will also be sold.

Office space in the Jenner building will also be relocated to the south of the hospital, as paper work will be cut by 90% to save space.

The Whittington Education Centre, which trains post-graduates, will also be closed and relocated to a space currently used for storing medical records.

Shirley Franklin, chair of the Defend the Whittington Coalition said the decision is “putting lives at risk” and the group will “work with the unions to oppose the cuts.”

She said: “Its an absolute disgrace.

“It’s our land.

“Apparently it went through without a whimper.

“It’s absolutely disgusting.

“They do no represent the people of Islington, Haringey and Camden.

“They’re also cutting back the births which is very serious especially if you live in Haringey because there are no maternity services there.”

She added: “They’re selling off the family silver.

“Those buildings were built for health.

“Hospitals are supposed to care about their patients.”

Candy Udwin, chair of Camden Keep our NHS Public (KNOPF) said that the sell-off “is part of an attack going on across London.”

She said: “It has to be seen in the context of nine causality departments across London that are under threat, all of which is going to put a strain on central London hospitals.

“It’s not good enough.

“In terms of selling off the site, that’s a resource for the hospital and once it’s gone, it’s gone for ever.”

A spokeswoman for the Whittington Hospital said the Estates Strategy “responds to the health trends of the our local population.

“More people are receiving healthcare in their homes, health centres and GP surgeries.”

The spokeswoman added: “over time the dependency on hospital wards will decrease, which will see some staff relocate to health centres.

“Our strategy remodels our estate and reflects this pathway.”

The Whittington said that over the next five years, their investment plan includes £10 million to be spent on maternity services, £2.9 million to be spent on a new assessment centre for those who do no require hospital admission and £7million to be spent on an electronic patient record system.