Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition chairwoman Shirley Franklin
Published: 26 March, 2013
by TOM FOOT
A DAY of action has been called by campaigners fighting the Whittington Hospital sell-off.
The Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition (DWHC) say they will lobby the next meeting of the board wearing black cat masks.
DWHC chairwoman Shirley Franklin said a series of mini “gatherings” would be held outside surgeries and schools in Camden and Islington as part of the protest on April 24.
At a planning meeting on Tuesday night, the DWHC passed a motion supporting immigrant workers in the NHS.
It added: “We condemn Prime Minister Cameron's attempts to divide us by scapegoating immigrants and turning our attention away from the destruction his austerity and privatisation policies are causing to our hospitals.”
Whittington bosses plan to sell off a large chunk of its site as part of a proposal to shrink the hospital and move care into people's homes or health centres.
The move is a central plank of its Foundation Trust bid. A report published this week said that failure to become an independently-run Foundation Trust would lead to the “direct intervention of external bodies”.
The board papers say the current financial position is “not sustainable” and that bosses must get a tighter grip on temporary staff bookings.
A move to wipe £13.1million off the hospital's budget this year has been hit by “over-spending”, largely to do with hiring agency staff and “the requirement to open surgical beds”, the report says.