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Campaign Update: Jeremy Corbyn’s monthly report and Camden New Journal coverage

This is from Jeremy Corbyn’s monthly report.

Defend the Whittington Hospital

It is apparent that the North Central London Health Authorities covering Camden,Islington, Haringey, Barnet and Enfield are trying to “reconfigure” services to make enormous savings. To do this they are looking at the possible closure of the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit at the Whittington Hospital. As soon as this
became clear as a possibility, I sought and obtained a special debate in Parliament which is included in this report.

I am still unclear where the demand for huge cuts comes from, and have tabled parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State for Health on this, also included here. It is evident that any reduction in the A&E services at the Whittington will lead to a reduction in other services at the hospital, as well as job losses and risk to our community. Millions of pounds have been spent on upgrading the Whittington and I do not want any of this put at risk by short-sighted decision making.

An impressive number of people have already signed petitions which will be presented to the Department of Health in early March, and after the demonstration on February 27th when everyone in our borough will have the chance to make their voices heard.

On Monday, January 25th, hundreds of local residents attended another public meeting at the Archway Methodist Hall when the NHS London officials replied to questions that had arisen from the December meeting.

The officials from NHS London insist that no decision has been taken and that there will be public consultation on proposals which are yet to be made. Many, myself included, are very sceptical of this position and are suspicious that a model of health care for North Central London is being prepared, which will close A&E departments including the Whittington’s, and thus downgrade the hospital and centralise services of both University College Hospital and the North Middlesex. I am impressed by the enormous affection and support for our local hospital, but also for the principle of an effective available National Health Service provided by publicly employed staff.

Former Health Secretary Frank Dobson also spoke at the meeting and among other things, challenged the rapid privatisation which is being prioritised by the NHS bureaucrats, and made some serious points including one about ambulance travel times in the busy traffic of central London.

This is the Adjournment Debate referred to above, from theyworkforyou.com:

It can be also be read on the theyworkforyou.com site.

There was a big piece about the Whittington in the Camden New Journal and Islington Tribune this week:

‘If we make voices heard, we can save our Whittington Hospital’

DISMANTLING the Whittington Hospital would represent one of the most unpopular disruptions to the health system in decades, affecting the lives of tens of thousands of people.
Today, patients, residents and politicians – brought together by the Camden New Journal and our sister newspaper Islington Tribune, which began a campaign to save the under-threat A&E department in December – issue the strongest plea yet to health chiefs in a bid to make them change their mind. In essence, they have a short and simple message: “Save Our Whittington.”
Broadcaster Lord Melvyn Bragg, writer Tariq Ali and actress Michelle Collins have all swung behind the campaign.

You can read the rest on their site.

Please remember to join our Facebook group, sign up for the march and rally on 27th February, sign the petition, follow us on Twitter and spread the word.

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