The Independent London Newspaper
24th May 2017

Whittington Hospital's A&E meeting health scare

    Published: 23 September, 2010
    by TOM FOOT

    A WOMAN attending a campaign meeting to save the Whittington Hospital’s accident and emergency department collapsed after suffering a suspected heart attack.

    The patient, who did not want to be named, was taken by ambulance to the Highgate hospital from the meeting in Archway Methodist Hall at around 8pm last Thursday, just half an hour into the meeting.

    She was discharged later that evening.

    An ambulance spokeswoman said: “Our staff treated the woman, believed to be in her 60s, and she was taken to Whittington Hospital A&E.”

    During the meeting, health bosses confirmed reports in the New Journal earlier this month that the original review of north London hospital services – including the plan to shut the Whittington A&E department – has been “abandoned”.

    Stephen Conroy, director of communications at the North Central London Sector Trust, said: “We have stopped the review. We are not telling the Whittington how they should run their hospital or what they should provide. We have no plans for the Whittington Hospital, its A&E unit or the maternity unit.”

    But he added: “The problems are still there. We need to change things.”

    Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition (DWHC) chairwoman Shirley Franklin: “We’ve won the Whittington – and I think that’s great. That was a great victory, a victory for the moment. But we are worried that other departments are not safe. At Chase Farm, there is a merger of maternity and pediatric departments.”

    Dr Ben Timmis, a consultant who criticised the plans at the time, said: “Medical staff do not want to carry on as we were. We want to improve efficiency. We need to find those efficiencies. I hope you can trust us – now that review is put to bed – to work for a new future for the Whittington.”

    The campaigners also heard Labour politicians’ response to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s controversial White Paper which proposes abolishing primary care trusts and making GPs the new paymasters of the NHS.

    Labour councillor Martin Klute, health chief for Islington Council, said: “Will GPs want to take this on? It is likely they will get someone else to do it on their behalf.”

    DWHC is campaigning against the White Paper and against mental health cuts. For more information visit www.dwhc.org

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