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January 12th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments


Sell-off defeated, but fight to defend the NHS goes on…


Our victory in 2013-2014 against the threat of ward closures and job cuts showed what could be achieved when local people – residents, patients, hospital staff, trade unions, politicians and a number of concerned local celebs – came out to defend our hospital.

We were told that plans for huge cutbacks in services would be scrapped and a new strategy put in place to guarantee our hospital’s future. But big savings are likely to be needed as the new government imposes further austerity on our public services – including the NHS.

Despite what it says about protecting health service funding, hospitals are likely to face savage cuts – while privatisation is an increasing threat as large parts of the NHS, including hospital and community services such as district nursing and mental health, are packaged up and sold off to private companies who will cut care provision and jobs in a bid to boost profits.

Join our campaign to keep our local hospital and oppose these threats before it is too late.

For more details about the progress of the campaign, and a list of future actions, visit the “Meetings and events” section of the website.

To join us, email defendwhittington@gmail.com or find us on facebook

Full media coverage here


Junior doctors at Whittington














Junior doctors on the picket line outside the Whittington on the first day of the strike. They were joined by members of DWHC and Keep Our NHS Public. Popular support for the strike remained strong


Why DWHC is backing  junior doctors strike

Strikes by junior doctors against the government’s plan to cut their pay and conditions are to go ahead after conciliation talks broke down.

The strikes, organised by the “doctors’ trade union” the British Medical Association, are supported by DWHC because we believe junior doctors are right when they say the government is trying to impose a cut in pay and longer working hours, which will affect patient safety.

The strikes will only affect non-urgent care. The doctors have pledged to work normally in accident and emergency and the maternity department, so urgent care will not be disrupted and emergencies will be covered as usual.

Junior doctors already work long hours – but the contract the government wants to impose will remove safeguards introduced in the 1990s. This is the main sticking point – not pay, although cuts in allowances would result in a smaller overall wage packet.

“We fully support the doctors’ action,” said DWHC chair Shirley Franklin. “The government is trying to deny that their proposals would worsen junior doctors’ pay and conditions. But that’s not what the junior doctors have been telling us – and we believe them.

“We think the doctors are right when they say they would be forced to work longer hours. We don’t want them working until they drop – that’s not safe for them and it’s not safe for patients.

“They are not being greedy. They haven’t asked for a pay rise – just that they shouldn’t have a pay cut. The government should find the money to give them what they want.”

The first of the stoppages will be from 8am on Tuesday 12 January to 8am on Wednesday. The BMA will be picketing the Whittington’s Highgate Hill entrance – and DWHC will be joining them on the picket line.

If the talks remain deadlocked there will be another 48 hour stoppage starting at 8am on Tuesday 26 January – but emergencies will again be covered.

A third strike planned for Wednesday 10 February would see a complete walk-out from 8am to 5pm and would also include A&E.


Lest we forget…


These, the founding principles of the NHS, are a reminder of what we are fighting for… and what is under threat as the government renews its attacks on our health services.


How NHS beganNHS priciples 1NHS principles 2


DWHC joins NHS protest in Manchester

Thousands of NHS campaigners – including a contingent from DWHC – converged on Manchester on Sunday 4 October for the protest at the Tory party conference.

Up to 100,000 people joined the march, called by the TUC to demonstrate against the government’s austerity policies and the attacks on union rights and the NHS.

The march had the backing of the People’s Assembly. Rights groups said cuts in benefits have targeted the most vulnerable – including children, the elderly, the disabled, the sick and the mentally ill, as well as the unemployed and low paid – while the government has given millionaires a handout through tax cuts that will vastly increase their wealth.

NHS unions were angry that staff are being laid off or having to work longer hours for less pay. With rising costs, the government’s five-year freeze in NHS funding means further severe reductions will have to be made, which could see hospitals, A&Es and GPs surgeries plunged into a deepening crisis this winter.

Two-thirds of hospitals are already facing deficits averaging £22 million. The overall NHS deficit is expected to reach £2 billion this year.

Thousands of junior doctors also joined the protest to signal their anger at the new contracts health secretary Jeremy Hunt is trying to force through. The doctors leaders say pay cuts and longer hours will result, and that patients could be put at risk if hours are lengthened further.

Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, in a speech to the rally at the end of the march showed the government was facing opposition. He said the protest was “sending a very clear message” to the government that a fightback was under way.

DWHC banner at Tory party protest

The DWHC contingent lining up with the banner at the start of march past the Tory party conference in Manchester on October 4


No to privatisation of out of hours service

The procurement of a new £50 million out of hours contract covering all five North Central London clinical commissioning groups – Camden, Islington, Haringey, Barnet and Enfield – has been put on hold until April while the CCGs hold “public engagement” meetings to try to win over opposition.

How well the OOH service is run – if it is also combined with the 111 emergency phoneline, which is another part of the plan – will have a big impact on the number of people turning up at A&E. We want the service to be run by local doctors, not by a big private medical company. That’s why we are saying the “public engagement” exercise is not enough and why we are calling for proper public consultation so that the view of most people that the new service should not be privatised is taken into account.

People’s Inquiry warns of danger to London hospitals


People's Inquiry logoThe People’s Inquiry into London’s NHS completed its information-gathering stage at Lewisham Hospital, having held seven public hearings in different parts of London, and received evidence from around 100 people, including DWHC.

The six-person panel, which included Roy Lilley and the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, has now published its report, which makes grim reading for defenders of London hospitals under threat of closures.

But the authors of the report say there are ways out of this mess. Their aim in highlighting the current crisis is to open up debate and discussion on NHS policy in the run-up to the next general election, and pin the blame firmly on the government.

The outcome of that election could decide whether our health service survives. London NHS services ‘unravelling’ – BBC News

Read the panel’s recommendations here



  1. sybil ashton
    May 20th, 2013 at 12:15 | #1

    Save our health service from the greedy tories who want to make a profit out of people’s suffering. They turn their longing eyes to U.S.’s wonderful health service: look at the profits! As quoted many times, these people understand all about profit and nothing about value and compassion.

  2. May 21st, 2013 at 15:25 | #2

    just for once leave our hospital I would not be alive if it was not for the A&E at the Whittington and there Great Doctors & Nurses

  3. Jan
    June 25th, 2013 at 22:53 | #3

    A key part of What We Are Fighting For & Why includes NO CUTS IN STAFF. The real reason the Whittington has a good safety level and an excellent reputation amonst patients for good and sympathetic care is that our hospital has been well-staffed. We know from the example of Mid-Staffs that low staff numbers destroys patient care. Every member of staff contributes to our overall care. Thanks to them all – from Reception to Kitchen Staff, from Medical Secretaries to Physiotherapists!

  4. jemjem
    July 31st, 2013 at 17:58 | #4

    BIG Congrats to Save Lewisham Hospital campaign, as High Court announces Jeremy Hunt acted unlawfully in decision to cut and close hospital services. Victory to Lewisham! – and let all the NHS campaigns take hope from news of yet another people power victory! Well done to all those who fought so hard in organising and supporting the campaign!


  5. Tony
    November 13th, 2013 at 11:12 | #5

    Barnet, Enfield and Haringey residents have reacted with fury at the news that maternity services at their local hospital, Chase Farm, will end this month and the A&E department will close in December, despite intense local opposition, after Enfield Council’s demand for a judicial review was refused by the courts. The government is to blame. The closures are the result of plans introduced by the previous Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley, which also put several other London hospital departments at risk as the government seeks to cut NHS funding and transfer services to the private sector.

  6. Ruth Boswell
    March 9th, 2014 at 22:05 | #6

    Thank you all for what you are doing to try and keep the Whittington open. What is planned for it is a disgrace without any consideration of local needs and wishes or regard for its devoted staff.
    One can only hope that the closure of hospitals by Hunt without consultation does not become law.

  7. Emilia Brumini
    April 7th, 2014 at 00:05 | #7


    1) A&E
    2) In and outpatients services
    3) Non privatized catering and ICT
    4) More staff
    5) Decent management

    Whittington is the only Hospital I have closer to where I live.


  8. April 26th, 2014 at 09:45 | #8

    London’s NHS is under threat from government plans to cut billions of pounds from our hospitals, local doctors and community health services.

    London has fewer GPs and hospital beds per head of population than the rest of the country. But now, the government is pressing ahead with the “reconfiguration” of London’s NHS, resulting in more hospital closures and a greater burden on overworked GPs and community services – without giving them any extra funding to do the job properly.

    Keep Our NHS Public has organised a question and answer session with would-be MEPs and councillors in our area at the London Irish Centre, Camden Square, NW1 9XB,on Monday 28 April at 7pm.

    Come along and take the opportunity to quiz local politicians standing in next month’s elections and let it be known that opposition to the destruction of our NHS is gathering strength.

  9. May 28th, 2014 at 12:43 | #9

    Earlier this year, Whittington chair Steve Hitchins sought to calm fears over the Whittington management’s renewed bid for foundation trust status and its plan to become an “integrated care organisation” – which could involve the jettisoning of its status as district general hospital – and what this might mean in terms of job cuts and reduced hospital services.

    In a meeting with DWHC after his first board meeting on 7 May, interim Whittington chief executive Simon Pleydell sought to further explain the board’s strategy and the benefits of moving towards becoming an “integrated care organisation”, which could include strengthening the hospital’s independence.

    He said the Whittington faced a big financial challenge this year, with £15 million being cut from the budget. Ways of managing the deficit included a reduction in the use of agency staff and a 3.5% cut in the corporate overhead.

    So there will be a lot to talk about at the next DWHC planning meeting on 2 June, from 7pm, at our usual venue, Archway Methodist Hall, Archway Close, N19 3DT. Please come along. For further details, contact defendwhittington@gmail.com or find us on facebook.

  10. Sybil Ashton
    September 18th, 2014 at 12:12 | #10

    I have commented above and things have not improved at all. Meanwhile I am still alive owing to Qeens Square neurological unit and Whittington Hospital. Marvellous treatment in spite of the problems!

  11. Shirley Franklin
    February 25th, 2015 at 16:58 | #11

    Out of Hours Services in North London
    There is a move to privatise the Out of Hours service in the five North East Central Boroughs – Camden, Haringey, Islington Enfield and Barnet. We are totally opposed to this.
    Currently Islington CCG is doing a survey about OOH. The survey is managed by Care UK, a huge private enterprise. They want to know what you think of their service and what you want from it in the furture. They are in the running to take over the new 5 borough service that we think should be run by GPs and the NHS.
    Our position is that we want a PUBLICLY run service that meets all our health needs! Please do not tell them how great they are at the moment, because rember they are making PROFITS out of the money we pay for we pay for our health service. Is it worth doing the survey? Probably not!

  12. Shirley Franklin
    June 5th, 2015 at 11:54 | #12

    Dreadful cuts planned at the Whittington Hospital. See http://www.camdennewjournal.com/whitfinances
    We will be meeting with Simon Pleydell, the CEO, next Thursday to find out more details.
    Let’s be clear though. The cuts are due to this very nasty mean Government’s underfunding and destruction of our NHS

  13. August 26th, 2015 at 14:50 | #13

    Is the increase in the size of the older generation to blame for the NHS crisis? Or is this claim by government supporters simply a way of diverting attention from the true cause of the crisis – the government imposed marketisation of services, wholesale privatisation and public sector funding cuts? And what does this mean for the way hospital services are being reconfigured? Read this factsheet dispelling the myth that older people are to blame at http://www.nhsbill2015.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Myth-of-Ageing-fact-sheet.pdf

  14. September 15th, 2015 at 12:27 | #14

    BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Jeremy Corbyn, our MP, who has been so supportive of our campaigns, and is now the Leader pf the Labour Party. Woweeeee!

    Now we need to get rid of this horrible Government that is such a threat to our hospital and the NHS!

  15. Glen Hughes
    October 7th, 2015 at 13:13 | #15

    Hi – Lovely to meet you at the Manchester Rally! Keep up the fight, we support your cause.

    Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital

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