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Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition » 2010 » February

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Archive for February, 2010

Whittington March & Rally Today!

February 27th, 2010 No comments

Today’s the day when thousands of Londoners tell North Central London NHS that we will not tolerate the closure of the Whittington’s A&E, and will not tolerate decisions about our healthcare being made behind our backs.

Come and join us at Highbury Corner, mid-day, for the march to the Whittington and the rally. We have a great line up of speakers for the rally and the indications are that this is going to be a very big event. Come and help us make our voices heard.

Here’s an item about the day from the Islington Gazette:

Thousands march to save The Whittington Hospital

UP to 5,000 people are to descending on Islington on Saturday in a valiant bid to save The Whittington Hospital.

The march from Highbury Corner to The Whittington in Magdala Avenue, Archway, will be the biggest that north London has seen in recent years.

The Whittington Hospital could lose its accident and emergency department under a mass shake-up being planned by health chiefs.

The plans being drawn up by the North Central London NHS could also see The Whittington’s maternity unit, intensive care unit and children’s beds axed.

The march has been organised by the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition.

Campaigners are assembling at Highbury Corner at midday in order to walk the length of Holloway Road.

The march is expected to reach The Whittington by about 1.30pm where a rally will take place.

Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone, Green Party candidate Emma Dixon and leader of Islington Council Terry Stacy are among the politicians that will address the massive crowd.

Keep Our NHS Public campaigners Wendy Savage and Candy Udwin will also be rallying support for the hospital.

Zozi Goodman, joint chairwoman of the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition, is trying to get as many people as possible down to the march.

She said: “We are encouraging everybody to come and show the NHS that this is something we are not going to take lying down.

“We think it’s probably going to be the biggest protest in north London for many years. This is the one way in which we can really make our voices heard.”

People arriving at the march may need to arrive by bus or train because of problems with the Tube over the weekend. Archway station is closed for engineering works and Finsbury Park and Highbury and Islington stations will not be served by the Victoria line.

The Archway-bound carriageway of Holloway Road will also be closed to traffic between 12pm and 4pm.

And up to 20 bus routes will be affected, with some being diverted and others forced to terminate early.

We”ll see you there!

Categories: Campaign Updates, The Media Tags:

More press and getting ready for Saturday

February 25th, 2010 No comments

There’s been more coverage in the local press today:

Ham & High:

With the future of the Whittington Hospital at stake medics have contacted the Ham&High this week to speak out against the plans to close the A&E department.

Staff at the Archway hospital have been reluctant to speak out fearing their jobs may be on the line but have contacted the Ham&High this week on condition of anonymity.

The Ham&High also understands the staff are mobilising into a unified force and will soon appoint a spokesman who speak out on their behalf.

Read more here:  Whittington staff speak out about A&E closure

And there’s another great piece by Tom Foot in the Camden New Journal:

YOUR hospital needs you!

Patients who owe their lives to the Whittington have urged New Journal readers to stand up and be counted at a day of protest against plans to axe the Highgate ­hospital’s accident and emergency department.
Police are expecting a massive turnout on Saturday and have already ordered the ­closure of Holloway Road northbound from Highbury Corner up to the Whittington.

Tens of thousands of families will be affected by the proposals and the threat has outraged potential patients, many who have not campaigned before but know their lives may one day depend on the A&E remaining open.

Just ask identical twins Luke and Josh Ames Blackaby, from Highgate, who were diagnosed with chronic infantile asthma at birth. Over three years, they were repeatedly rushed through the doors of the Whittington’s casualty – often in the middle of night. Now 15, they have overcome their respiratory illness and developed into a pair of “top end” athletes – one plays county-level rugby and the other is a cross-country runner for Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers Athletics Club.

Read more here: Former patients back Whittington Hospital campaign as thousands get ready for protest march

Preparations for Saturday are rocking along. We’ve a great collection of speakers lined up and Joint-Secretary Shirley Franklin’s home is currently being used as a placard making factory.

We could still do with more stewards so, if you fancy helping out on the day please drop us a line at defendwhittington@googlemail.com. Stewards will be assembling at Highbury Fields at 11.15. on Saturday morning.

Whether or not you’re stewarding  please do your best to get along to the march and rally: it promises to be a  memorable day.

Transport disruption on Saturday, press coverage and political support

February 24th, 2010 No comments

This week keeps on getting busier and I know there’ll be stuff I’ve missed but this is the latest campaign news.

Transport disruption on Saturday

There are disruptions to public transport on Saturday which, while a pain, serve to highlight one of the many reasons we need to keep an A&E at the Whittington. Read more…

The North Central London NHS Sector Organisation Review Update

February 20th, 2010 5 comments

We’ve received this piece of NCL NHS information through a third party rather than directly from NCL NHS themselves.

“NCL Vision

To improve the health of our population over the next five years compared with Londoners as a whole. In particular, we will improve health outcomes by addressing health inequalities within our population, focusing on our most deprived communities.” Read more…

Press Coverage and a Public Meeting

February 19th, 2010 5 comments

First up, The Camden New Journal and Islington Tribune ran a large feature about the campaign, including more celebrity support and background to the plans for our A&E and focusing on the uncertainty these plans have created for staff at the Whittington:

FEAR and uncertainty over the future of Whittington Hospital could spark a mass exodus of specialist staff, union leaders have warned.

Unison’s national head of health, Karen Jennings, said proposals to close down the Whittington’s accident and emergency department had left a dark cloud over the Highgate hospital.

She said A&E staff were “afraid” and “intimidated” and that hundreds of jobs will be axed if the casualty section is closed. Read more…

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