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The Whittington Hospital is hugely important to us here in Crouch End. It is certainly our nearest Accident and Emergency Department. For me, I have an appointment with a specialist there on 22nd, and both my maternal grand parents died there.
The Hospital Trust has published an Estates Strategy which centres on a Strategic Estates Partnership (SEP) with Ryhurst as preferred bidder. Ryhurst is a subsidiary of Rydon, the company responsible for the cladding on Grenfell Tower.
The Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition opposes the partnership with Ryhurst, as does Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition and local MP for Islington North. He has supplied a statement for DWHC which is reproduced below.
I suspect the problems with the Whittington go deeper than who is to manage this estates strategy, and that this might be a bit of fiddling while Rome burns. The whole of the NHS is such a very sacred cow, those responsible for running it seem to have lost the plot just as badly as diehard defenders like DWHC. The NHS itself says "When the NHS was launched in 1948, it had a budget of £437 million (roughly £15 billion at today’s value). For 2015/16, the overall NHS budget was around £116.4 billion." This huge, huge increase in costs suggests that if the goal of the NHS is health, then it might not be doing a very good job.
Statement for Defend the Whittington from Jeremy Corbyn
As the Local MP for Islington North, I welcome and support the Whittington Hospital Estates’ Strategy, which will provide the opportunity for progress, as there is much needed development required to improve the buildings, including the upgrading of the maternity and neonatal facilities.
However, I cannot support the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust Senior Management and Board selection of Ryhurst (a subsidiary of the company Rydon) as the preferred company to oversee this development, and I share the concerns expressed by the local community.
Catherine West MP, Emily Thornberry MP and I met with Siohban Harrington CEO and Steve Hitchens - Chair of the Whittington Hospital to express our concerns, and to encourage them to reconsider this decision and to explore alternative options.
I believe all parties, including the local community, value the services delivered by the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust and wish to see these continue long into the future. However, it is imperative that the Estate Strategy is implemented in such a way that it guarantees public support and confidence.
6th February 2018