The Independent London Newspaper


Baby unit in danger too

Published: 5 March 2010

• A HUGE thank-you to the Tribune for its fantastic support for the Whittington march on Saturday. 
And congratulations  to Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition co-chairs Zozi Goodman and Shirley Franklin for organising it.
It was lovely to see so many people on the march – from churches and mosques; from community groups such as the Highgate Society; and lots of residents of all ages from babies to 104. 
The Routemaster bus and the lovely jazz band gave the march a bit of a carnival atmosphere – thank you.
There’s been a hospital at the Whittington site since 1473. It has been part of the NHS since its introduction in 1948. Two-thirds of all the Whittington’s patients are admitted through A&E, so without that department the hospital would be decimated and many wards would stand empty.
Indeed, closing the A&E could well turn out to be the first step in closing the whole hospital.
Just as concerning is the proposal to close the maternity ward. The Whittington’s maternity unit has been rated one of the safest places in Britain to have your baby. Almost 4,000 babies are born there every year.
On a personal note, I would like to thank the wonderful Whittington midwives who helped deliver my sons.
We must defend Whittington Hospital – and defend our NHS against creeping privatisation and centralisation. Local people want local services.
Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate, Islington North


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