Whittington Hospital: what is going on?

IT’S great that MPs from Camden, Islington and Haringey are, regardless of political affiliation, all in the mix trying to protect services, and jobs, and buildings, at the Whittington Hospital. But there’s a slight bit of confusion, not necessarily caused by her, as to where Hornsey and Wood Green’s Lynne Featherstone is at. She released a news statement on her blog yesterday explaining how she had won important assurances for the future. But the Whittington Hospital itself later sent out a long press release last night, which talks about what chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh is doing to talk everybody through the proposed changes. The text of that statement sent to the New Journal and other newspapers includes the following words:

Dr Koh said: “The future of the Trust lies in looking forward and planning how best to meet the needs of the local community within Whittington Health’s available resources.” 

She also acknowledged that the plans should be explained in detail to demonstrate to the local community the changes, which have the support of local GPs, are for the best.

Dr Koh is also to attend a second public meeting being organised in March by Lynne Featherstone MP, who has endorsed the Trust’s plan after hearing about it in more detail in a meeting with the Trust’s board last Friday 8 February.

“We want to share our vision widely, listen to local opinion and reflect on their views. This is why we welcome the chance to attend public meetings and encourage people to come,” said Dr Koh.

This morning, Lynne says she has not ‘endorsed’ – the hospital’s word, right there in the press statement, not mine or any other journalist’s – the changes. So, what is going on? I’m sure everybody would welcome some clarification. Moreover, majority of people who will attend a public meeting in Archway tonight probably just want politicians of all stripes to work together. They marched down the road together once, they can do it again.

UPDATED: Lynne Featherstone says she has NOT endorsed the changes as the hospital’s board has claimed in their press statement. She has tweeted that she is seeking an apology.

2 Comments on Whittington Hospital: what is going on?

  1. Yes the public do want their politicians of all stripes to work together. But Lynne Featherstone has earned ire because she broke ranks – a private meeting with the hospital top brass accompanied by a Haringey Councillor but not the Council’s portfolio holder for health instead the minority party (Lib Dem) spokesman. She imagined a private deal was on the cards and walked from the meeting issuing a press statement that she had “secured assurances” and was “confident” about the Trust’s plans. Then she announces a public meeting of her own on March 1st cutting across the established campaign which all other MPs have supported. This behaviour is sectarian, arrogant and ultimately rather naive.

  2. Richard Osley // February 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm //

    Thanks Paul. Will you stand against her in Hornsey and Wood Green?

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