Author Owen Jones puts weight behind battle to save Whittington Hospital
- Credit: Archant
Writer and broadcaster Owen Jones is taking up the fight to save The Whittington Hospital.
Mr Jones, a best-selling author, current affairs show regular and Independent columnist, has said it will be a “double whammy” for patients if half The Whittington Hospital site is sold off and wards are closed.
The left-wing campaigner, who wrote Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class, said: “It’s clearly a hospital right in the centre of the community. No wonder that back in 2010, thousands of people took to the streets to save its accident and emergency department.
“I am absolutely committed to saving that hospital. It’s part of a wider fight against the attack on the NHS by this Government.
“Despite Tory claims that they were going to protect NHS budgets in real terms, we are going to see the biggest squeeze on budgets since the war.”
You may also want to watch:
Whittington Health, the trust that manages the hospital and 30 health centres in Islington and Haringey, has decided to sell half the hospital site in Magdala Avenue, Archway, to raise £17million, cap births at 4,000 a year, close three wards and relocate essential services elsewhere in the hospital.
In a letter sent on Tuesday to Shirley Franklin, chairwoman of the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, Whittington Health chairman Joe Liddane said: “The hospital will continue to provide emergency and acute care but long-term conditions and the elderly will be increasingly treated in the community. This represents the care of the future.”
- 1 Revealed: Latest Covid-related death figures for Islington
- 2 Six flee Finsbury Park house fire
- 3 Tollington by-election imminent as Richard Watts joins Khan's 'top team'
- 4 Primary school allowed to keep floodlights despite complaints
- 5 Islington Council set to save Grade II-listed South Library from disrepair
- 6 Islington Council backtracks on promise to save mulberry tree
- 7 Obituary: 'Striking and beautiful' north London mother Mary Collins
- 8 Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visits the Whittington Hospital
- 9 Reaction from winners of Islington by-elections
- 10 Historic pub The Cuckoo ready to welcome locals inside after refurbishment
But Mr Jones, who lives in Cheverton Road, Archway, and who used the hospital only recently when he needed his wrist X-rayed following a bicycle accident, has rejected this claim.
He said: “I don’t accept that people can receive care at home. Local authorities are cutting back on carers for the elderly and disabled. So if there are cutbacks at the hospital as well, it will be a double whammy.”
Mr Jones will be speaking at a campaign meeting being held by the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition.
Ms Franklin, who has gathered 1,000 signatures against the sale, welcomed Mr Jones’s support saying: “It’s nice to see people with such commitment.”
Whittington Health’s decision to sell off the hospital land comes as it prepares for self-governing Foundation Trust status, for which it needs to save £4.8million by March.
But Whittington Health chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh said money from the sales, which will not happen until 2015, “will be ploughed into elderly care, maternity services and accident and emergency.”
*The Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition is holding a public meeting at Archway Methodist Church Hall, Archway Close, Archway, at 7.30pm on February 12.