The Independent London Newspaper

 

Whittington Hospital paying £400k a year to rent publicly owned building that was sold to off-shore company

Published: 8 March, 2013

A PUBLICLY owned block used by the Whittington Hospital was sold to an off-shore company based in a Channel Islands tax haven.

Block A in the “Highgate Wing” in Dartmouth Park Hill was sold for £3,520,000 to JJ Chester, regist­ered in St Helier, Jersey. According to company files, the business outsourcing and recruitment giant Capita was one of the signatories on the company’s incorporation documents in November 2011.

A Whittington spokeswoman said the Trust had transferred the building to Camden’s mental health trust, which had sold the building. The hospital has been renting back the space for around £400,000 a year.

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn said: “Why is the NHS now renting what was its own property from a Channel Islands-registered ­company?”

Comments

How Can We Defend the Whittington Hospital & Stop the Sell-Off?

Discuss how we stop the Whittington sell-off and defend the NHS.

Monday 18 March, 7pm @ Oak and Pastor Pub,
86 Junction Road, London N19 5QZ (Archway/Tufnell Pk tubes)

Speakers to include healthcare professionals and anti-cuts campaigners.

There is only one way to preserve our NHS:
• Cancel the PFI debt
• No to Foundation Trusts
• No cuts, no privatisation, no sell-offs
• Demand adequate public funding for healthcare

The previous Labour government entered into billions of pounds worth of contracts with private business for hospitals at a rate that will be repaid 12 times the amount that direct public funding would have cost. Repayments will grow by £10 billion a year from 2017.

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) was started in 1992 under Tory leader John Major. In opposition Labour called it ‘privatisation through the back door’. But in 1997 PFI was embraced by the Labour government, and Health Secretary Alan Milburn said, ‘It’s PFI or bust’. Well today it is bust for many hospitals. Nationally, the health service faces a £63 billion debt for PFI hospitals worth £11 billion.

In 2002 Milburn announced Foundation Trusts ‘to give a voice to patients’. Now all NHS hospitals must become Trusts by 2014. Whittington is selling off land and buildings and cutting services so it can be ready for Trust status. Labour MP’s are jumping on the protest bandwagon because they want your vote. But they have no alternative to offer. The only way to keep our services is demand: no cuts, full stop! People before profit!

If you agree/what you can do…
1) Join our Saturday stalls in Nags Head (northlondonfrfi@gmail.com for details)
2) Join our contingent on the local march, organised by the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, on Saturday 16 March. Assemble 11.30am at Highbury Corner.
3) Join our campaign meeting to discuss how we stop the Whittington sell-off and defend the NHS.
Speakers to include healthcare professionals, hospital staff and anti-cuts campaigners.
Monday 18 March, 7pm @ Oak and Pastor Pub,
86 Junction Road, London N19 5QZ (Archway/Tufnell Pk tubes)

North London Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
northlondonfrfi@gmail.com 0207 837 1688 FRFI BCM Box 5905, London WC1N 3XX

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