The Independent London Newspaper

 

Whittington Hospital ‘redrafts’ sell-off plan

Published: 17 May, 2013
by TOM FOOT

A CONSULTANCY firm has been parachuted into the Whittington for three months to help the hospital board “redraft” its controversial land sell-off and job cuts proposals.

Ernst & Young will support changes being made to the “five-year plan” and the crucial application for foundation trust status over three months, a spokeswoman confirmed yesterday (Thursday).

Whittington chairman Joe Liddane was a former partner of the consultancy division at Ernst & Young before taking up his senior post at the Archway hospital.

Chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh, in an internal message to staff this week, said: “We are in the process of finalising the timetable for the next stage of our foundation trust application. As part of this process, we are redrafting our five-year plan with the support of Ernst & Young.”

The plan would bring about major changes at the hospital, including the sale of a large expanse of publicly-owned land and the axing of 570 staff as care is shifted into the community.

The announcement came on the back of the NHS trust being named as the safest hospital in the country. Dr Martin Kuper, medical director at Whittington Health, said: “This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff. We will strive to continue this excellent work.”

But campaigners say the hospital will not be able to maintain its high standard of care if the changes go ahead.

The Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition is joining a march in support of hospitals across London tomorrow (Saturday). Chairwoman Shirley Franklin said: “A cut in provision in one hospital has an impact on other hospitals. So it’s important we have a united campaign to stop the decimation of our NHS.”

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