What we are fighting for – and why
We are disgusted by the proposals to sell-off a large part of the Whittington Hospital, leading to ward closures, capping births to 4,000, loss of beds for the elderly, and the complete removal of staff accommodation.
This is part of a wider attack on hospitals and other health services across the country.
We are opposed to the rundown, closure or privatisation of any key services, including staff accommodation, at the Whittington, or at any other hospital.
We call on the Whittington NHS Trust Board to stop the sell-off and the closure of beds, wards and staff accommodation.
Campaigners take message to Downing Street
Thousands of marchers converged on Whitehall on Saturday 18 May in a big demonstration of support for the Save London’s NHS campaign.
Many of us from the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition were at the head of the march, which brought together campaigners from across London, as it set off from the South Bank to Downing Street. Our Shirley Franklin, chair of DWHC, told the marchers what had been happening at the Whittington just before the start. See the video here.
Jacky Davis, Whittington consultant and British Medical Association council member, called on the government to halt the assault on the NHS which is putting hospitals in danger.
Commenting on the huge turnout for the march, which some estimated at more than 10,000, she said: “We are the government’s biggest nightmare. This is just the beginning of the fight for the NHS”
The rally in Whitehall was addressed by Camden Keep Our NHS Public chair Candy Udwin, and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, before a letter was handed in to 10 Downing Street saying that the closure of nine A&E units across London, a number of maternity units and thousands of hospital beds will put Londoners’ lives at risk.
The letter said: “We support a National Health Service which is publicly funded, publicly delivered and publicly accountable, delivering care according to need and free at the time of access, to everyone irrespective of personal wealth.
“We are calling on the Prime Minister for an immediate end to the closures and privatisation threats to London’s NHS.”
Candy Udwin said that the NHS is facing the biggest threat to its existence since it was founded 65 years ago.
“The demonstration today is just a start,” she said. “A national campaign is urgently needed if we are to save the NHS.
“We are calling on trade unions, political parties and all those who care about the NHS to set a date for a national demonstration.”