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A victory, but now the fight goes on…

Last year’s victory 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.

Now that guarantee looks increasingly worthless, as the hospital management sets out to renew its bid for foundation trust status.

Steve Hitchins, the newly appointed head of the management board, has already announced a drastic need for savings. He also, worryingly, said that it may no longer be viable for the Whittington to remain as a district hospital – which is what last year’s fight was about in the first place.

He also recently declared enthusiastic support for the government’s health service “reforms”. Let us not forget that these “reforms” involve massive cuts to the NHS budget and increasing privatisation – packaging large parts of our health service up and selling them off to private companies who will cut care provision and jobs in a bid to boost profits.

Do we want the Whittington to just become a glorified health centre? 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

 Shock resignation of chief executive

The sudden departure of Whittington chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh in mid-March completes the exodus of senior managers behind the disastrous 2012 plan to close wards and sell buildings that began with the resignation of board chairman Joe Liddane after the massive public outcry in 2013.

But, while board vacancies are being filled – former South Tees hospital boss Simon Pleydell, who faced opposition in that role, will be taking over from Dr Koh – our hospital still isn’t safe. Millions of pounds are being cut from the budget as a result of the government’s squeeze on NHS funding, and services at the hospital are being “reconfigured”  to put more emphasis on care at home. So everyone is urged to continue the fight.

Trouble at the top? Why did chief executive quit Whittington’s top job so suddenly? – Islington Tribune

Full media coverage here

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 in Lewisham Hospital on December 6, 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. Tony
    July 26th, 2013 at 09:56 | #4

    The government’s back-door privatisation of the NHS is having a growing impact on our hospitals. We are already seeing a crisis in A&E and it is expected to worsen as the months go by. Care for the long-term sick and elderly in their homes is being cut.
    That is why many of us are backing the national demonstration at the Tory party conference on September 29. A coach will be leaving from Archway to take DWHC supporters to the rally to protest about the cuts. For details, go to the “What’s coming up” page on the website

  5. jemjem
    July 31st, 2013 at 17:58 | #5

    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!


  6. Tony
    November 13th, 2013 at 11:12 | #6

    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.

  7. January 2nd, 2014 at 16:51 | #7

    Protest outside the main entrance of the Whittington on Wednesday 8 January to show opposition to the naming of Lib Dem former Islington council leader Steve Hitchins as the new chair of the board. He is a member of the party whose support was crucial in getting the Health and Social Care Act through parliament, the first move in the government’s cynical plan, rapidly gathering pace, to sell off billions of pounds worth of public health services to the private sector for them to gain greater profits, while what’s left of our NHS is forced into decline.

  8. March 3rd, 2014 at 10:39 | #8

    It is no small thing organising these meetings, so I hope everyone will make the extra effort to attend, in the interests of everyone.

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

    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.

  10. March 20th, 2014 at 11:00 | #10

    Whitt Hospital CEO- Dr Li Mien Koh – HAS RESIGNED!!
    After managing a disastrous sell-off foundation trust plan Koh managed another plan which was announced in July. New Chair of the Board S Hitchins has trashed that plan. He has also publicly humiliated her – once at our meeting on 3rd March where he described leadership at the Hospital as weak and also undermined her at the Islington Health Scrutiny Committee meeting.
    But the Hospital was not a happy ship under her captaincy.
    We said “Hitchins and Koh have got to go!”
    One down, one to go.
    We need to know who appointed him and why. What or who is behind this political and again unhappy appointment to the Board of our Hospital. Three Board members have left recently…. as well as a whole lot of managers and staff..
    What do YOU think???

  11. Viv
    March 20th, 2014 at 23:35 | #11

    Agreed. How was Hitchens appointed? Will we ever know? This is a long fight to keep our hospital. But we will win!

  12. Ste Jenks
  13. Emilia Brumini
    April 7th, 2014 at 00:05 | #13


    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.


  14. Unhappy
    April 25th, 2014 at 07:45 | #14

    Sedexo get Whittington Catering contract – what a load of hash after all the social media. Why a company that has had lots of issues in the past, ie finance irregularities?

  15. April 26th, 2014 at 09:45 | #15

    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.

  16. May 28th, 2014 at 12:43 | #16

    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.

  17. Claire Dixon
    May 28th, 2014 at 16:27 | #17

    Dear all,
    Unison are having a rally and protest over our lousy 1% pay offer which most health workers will not recieve. As part of a National Day of Protest the Unison branch of Whittington hospital will be holding a lunchtime rally 12-2pm on Thursday June 5th.. We have invited patients and patient groups, other health unions to take part and say a few words. Bring yourselves, your friends and your banners.

    Claire Dixon(Unison Branch Secretary)

  18. July 8th, 2014 at 14:07 | #18

    #NoTTIP, national day of action

    A EU/US treaty, called the Transatlantic trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated, will extend NHS marketisation – the sell-off of large parts of it to private companies – and make reversing the policy and restoring our NHS to public control extremely difficult.

    Protests are gathering pace across the EU and the US. On Saturday 12 July, just two days before the next round of TTIP negotiations begin in Brussels, people in towns and cities across the UK will be taking action.

    We can defeat this unjust deal. Join the #noTTIP day of action – in central London meet 12 noon outside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria Street, SW10ET. Sign up to the facebook event to find out more: https://www.facebook.com/events/231572717052962/

  19. September 5th, 2014 at 09:18 | #19

    Islington Rally for Health Saturday 8th September
    12.45 Islington Green
    1.15 Greet Jarrow Health Marchers
    Please join us!

  20. Sybil Ashton
    September 18th, 2014 at 12:12 | #20

    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!

  21. Matt
    October 7th, 2014 at 13:30 | #21

    Also Like to save our health service from greedy arrogant GP.’s who have no intention of treating anybody who is poor. Be nice to train up more working class doctors not just people who wan’#t to be in the professional classes.

  22. November 14th, 2014 at 08:08 | #22

    Please email us for copies of the Manifesto and accompanying sign up sheet -defendwhittington@gmail.com
    We want as many signatures as possible.
    Better still – come and get some hard copies from our rally to support striking hospital workers outside the Accident and Emergency department 8-9 am on Monday 24th November!

  23. November 14th, 2014 at 09:33 | #23

    You can now download the manifesto and petition from this website by going to http://dwhc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014-manifesto-and-petition.pdf

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