Published: 30 June 2013
By TOM FOOT
HEALTH minister Anna Soubry has made an official statement in the House of Commons saying there are now "no plans for significant overall reduction" of Whittington Hospital staff.
The claim contrasts sharply with the proposed overhaul detailed in the Archway hospital's board papers in January, which talked about "significant reduction in posts across the Trust". Those plans led to public fury and a march through the streets of north London earlier this year, led by the Camden New Journal and Islington Tribune's red battle bus.
The mood at the top has showed some signs of changing since those angry demonstrations and Ms Soubry, the Conservative Under Secretary of State for Health, said on Friday that the NHS Trust Development Authority "has advised the Department that there are no plans for significant overall reduction in Whittington Health NHS Trust's workforce".
She was responding from a written query from Labour's Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn.
The New Journal and Tribune reported this week how the hospital's acting chairman of the hospital, Robert Aitkne, had indicated "significant" changes had been made to the original cuts plans, although without expanding further on how.
Defend Whittington Hospital chairwoman Shirley Franklin said: "It's interesting. They planned all of those cuts but they must have been turned down somewhere."
In January, a board level meeting discussed a report outlining plans to axe 350 posts from the 4,000 strong workforce. Local MPs only learned of the changes through the New Journal and Islington Tribune's exclusive reports.