The Independent London Newspaper
24th May 2017

HOSPITAL SELL-OFF: Whittington bosses fear ‘consequences’ if plans are defeated by people power campaign

    Chairman Joe Liddane

    Chairman Joe Liddane: 'move to push care into neighbourhood centres would guarantee the hospital’s survival'

    Published: 7 February, 2013
    by TOM FOOT

    WHITTINGTON Hospital bosses warned yesterday (Wednesday) there will be “consequences” if their shock sell-off plans were derailed by a massive people power campaign.

    Chairman Joe Liddane told the New Journal the move to push care into neighbourhood centres would guarantee the Highgate hospital’s survival.

    He said: “This is the way that healthcare is going. Clearly, we haven’t communicated enough about our strategy. We won’t be able to reconcile all of the views of the public but we want to involve them in this.

    “We think we have a plan that saves the hospital. If that is defeated – there are consequences.”

    Those consequences could include being swallowed up by another hospital trust or being taken over by a private provider – neither of which are options likely to win much favour.

    Senior figures have warned that decisions to shut down services could be taken out of the hands of the hospital board.

    As revealed in a New Journal exclusive last month, massive changes will see the main hospital site downsized, with care moved into community health centres across north London. Under the current proposals, 570 “posts” – including about 200 nurses – will be axed and the total bed count cut from 360 to 177 over five years.

    Land at the north of the hospital site – where all nursing accommodation and three wards are based – will be sold for around £17million. Money from the sale will be spent on improving the maternity service, with £7million earmarked for a digital medical records system.

    Mr Liddane said that due to “natural turnover” of staff over five years, it would be possible to “recast the workforce to fit for the strategy” and keep actual redundancies low.

    The changes would “not be as dramatic as it sounds”, he insisted.

    Chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh said the “ratio of nurse-to-patient exceeds the national average”. She added: “Care for some patients, certainly the older people, is better in their own homes. In the old days, the whole episode would have taken several days. Now, from the moment they are treated we get them to mobilise straight away. We get them discharged as soon as possible.”

    The worry will be that patients will be left at home alone or without care they need, but Mr Liddane said that, under the changes, the Whittington would maintain “responsibility” for patients once they have been discharged.

    Dr Koh said the new vision for the Whittington had been “stimulated by the financial climate we are all finding ourselves in”, adding: “But even in a time of growth we should have done this. But there wasn’t that push that we have now. Some of the good things that have come out is that we are thinking more imaginatively and innovatively, but we would never compromise our quality.”

    She said increasing private patient income to maintain the hospital in its current form – as University College London Hospital and the Royal Free have done – was “not being considered”.

    Dr Koh stressed that the drive to push care into the community was coming from GPs, who from April will be responsible for NHS funding decisions under government health reforms. She said: “GP commissioners want us to provide more care in the community out of these health centres. It is the GPs who are asking for this. They are saying patients want to be cared for closer to home.”

     

    Comments

    Fire the bosses at Whittington

    I hope the Whittington bosses do fear the consequences if plans are defeated by people power. Their wages come from public funds their jobs should be on the line, they should be fired.

    I am sick and tired of Thatcherite policies proven to be wholly inadequate and dangerous... "Care in the Community" In fact was selling off real estate which happened to be hospitals, forcing patients into the community who cannot cope with dangerous schizophrenics and so on.
    There's no difference here.

    Encouraging mothers to have babies at home, I believe a dangerous practise. Care at the community health centres who are not equipped to deal with emergencies, or have the equipment to treat or diagnose, but more like an authorisation centre to give chits to go to the hospital for scans, x-rays and specialists, and prescribe drugs or chits to go to other professional services like physio.

    Like the worst of America, where people have to travel all over the place to get different treatments.... Have your broken arm x-rayed in a hospital, but have to wait all night in pain to go to an orthopaedic surgeon the next day to have it set. Something unheard of in Britain but very common in the US. That is why this US medical culture will not go down well in this country.

    Why would we bother to wait at the doctors for a chit and wait again at the hospital or go miles to a different centre? It is for this reason why so many people go to the emergency department at the hospital.

    And in America it was for this very reason my father in law brought about the technology to have full medical health check ups conducted by technicians and computer technology in one place taking a matter of hours that usually took two days of traipsing around from one scattered hospital specialising in whatever to another department specialising in something else miles apart from another.

    One part of my father in law's technology, his intention was preventive medicine, was to record your levels when you are well, so that when you deviate from your norm it could be corrected at the earliest opportunity. Computerising the medical records. What we call the Summary Care Records. GD Searle was the parent company financing his research, but he could not get this project off the ground in the 60's there was too much opposition, ie the fascist element, IBM were instrumental in many of the Nazi personal records of people, but primarily it was fear of medical insurance companies gaining access and refusing to insure people.

    To say the Royal Free or the UCH have succeeded in downsizing? They mean letting the 'Private Sector' rent or buy space originally bought out of public funds to lounge around at ease? It's daylight robbery from the NHS. Why don't these private hospitals build their own hospitals? Is it because they want to use the NHS equipment?

    The UCH is a logistic nightmare where they squeeze the NHS into inadequately small overcrowded clinics, queues spill out into and half way down the corridor, where one clinic's time naturally overlaps into another clinic's time causing confusion and frustration looking for rooms with computer terminals for their clinics.

    Where the ERCP team and anaesthetist come in on Thursdays for endoscopic operations, but there is only one endoscopic ultrasound doctor who's clinic is on Wednesday, if you need an operation that needs general anaesthetic and endoscopic ultrasound the hospital has to scramble to find the funds and the availability of an anaesthetist and ERCP team who will come on a Wednesday, but not only that, they have to reschedule patients booked for the endoscopic ultrasound.

    The Royal Free, another property built from public funds, where the 'Private' sector patients have taken over at least half the hospital, leaving the NHS sector to scramble for equipment even as basic as swabs in the Intensive Care Unit to blankets on the emergency ward is a disgrace.

    £17 billion, a British billion is far greater than American billion, but £17 billion WITHOUT PUBLIC CONSULTATION has been spent so far on The Summary Care Records. That money was taken out of the NHS funding.

    Furthermore the security was so lax the records have been breached. Not forgetting it's American companies lobbying parliament for the break up of the NHS, it is no doubt extremely advantageous for the insurance companies those records to have been breached.

    But also, don't forget Cameron announced in November 2011 that research companies will be allowed access to your Summary Care Records. There are huge amounts of money to be made from access to our Summary Care Records, is that money going to go back into the NHS? Or line someone's greasy pocket? Which companies do you think will have access to your medical records WITHOUT your knowledge or permission?

    Here's something to think about. As I mentioned before GD Searle had the patent on the Preventive Medicine and Summary Care Records technology. Isn't it interesting that our government has only taken the Summary Care Record aspect and not the preventive medicine aspect? As my father in law went to start his own preventive medicine research, Donald Rumsfeld became the CEO of GD Searle, within months, GD Searle's patent for aspartame was passed by the FDA. In 1985 Donald Rumsfeld sold GD Searle to MONSANTO. Monsanto is a small subsidiary of PFIZER the largest drug company in the world.

    So who do you think is most likely to be looking at your records?

    I recommend EVERYBODY get your medical records OFF the Summary Care Records computer asap.

    This segmentation of the NHS is MADNESS.

    It is vital that the Whittington and no other publicly funded hospitals are downsized or have private wards in the manner of the Royal Free and the UCH. Every hospital should have it's own emergency department and their own specialists with all the equipment readily available like the NHS always has been.

    I believe the government should lose control over what happens to the NHS they have abused their position and been seduced by American plasticosis.

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