Health centre explanation needed

There has been a bizarre twist regarding use of the �350,000 NHS Islington will receive from the sale of the building it owns adjacent to Finsbury Health Centre (FHC) in Pine Street Finsbury (“Put cash back in to health centre”, January 12).

At its board meeting last week, chairwoman Paula Kahn announced that all the money will indeed be spent on FHC – but she didn’t once mention refurbishment. After the �30,000 for emergency repairs required by English Heritage for the Grade I-listed building, the balance (�320,000) is instead to be spent hastily on what English Heritage called “painting and tiling” and the PCT vaguely called “infection control” and “DDA” without specification.

The PCT also appear to have set themselves an arbitrary March 31 deadline.

Why spend �350,000 of public money on internal changes to a building which needs total refurbishment?

NHS Islington has some explaining to do. Wasting public money isn’t a good idea at the best of times. In the present financial climate, it could be said to border on irresponsible.

– Meg Howarth and Barb Jacobson, Campaign to Save Finsbury Health Centre, Charles Rowan House, Margery Street, WC1.