Whittington Hospital prepares to press ahead with controversial redevelopment plan

Defend the Whittington Hospital Colaition staging a protest.

Defend the Whittington Hospital Colaition staging a protest. - Credit: Archant

Whittington hospital bosses are pressing ahead with plans to partner with an external company as part of the site’s redevelopment programme.

The proposals, signed off by the Board last week, involve a 50/50 partnership between the trust and another “joint venture partner” that is set to share control and returns of hospital developments.

The plans do not confirm whether the trust intends to sell off land to the partner or any other external organisation.

Simon Pleydell, chief executive of the trust said the next step is for the hospital to select the partner.

He said: “The board’s decision has now triggered a process to procure a provider that will bring the right commercial skills and expertise. They will need to help Whittington Health optimise its estate to provide high quality working environments for staff and excellent facilities for patients and carers.”

Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition (DWHC) has repeatedly campaigned to prevent privatisation of the hospital and its grounds and has previously condemned The Whittington for proposing such partnerships. .

Shirley Franklin, chair of DWHC said: “We welcome a modern hospital that meets our health needs but believe this must be publicly owned and managed.

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“We also want no loss of service, no loss of jobs, no sell-off of property, no private beds and no privatisation - so this is a bad start.”

When pressed on the point that Whittington Health was not getting government funding for the developments and therefore is restricted in its options, Ms Franklin added: “Our campaign has always opposed private companies making money out if our health needs. So we oppose their use.

“We are also appalled that the Department of Health is demanding that hospitals update but are refusing to fund developments. The government should pay for NHS developments from trident funds rather than spending money on weapons that kill.”