A COMPLETE rethink. That’s how the Whittington Hospital’s medical director Dr Greg Battle described the situation at the Whittington Hospital last night. So, maybe all the campaigning has not been in vain: the public meetings, the posters, the big red bus and the whipping up of high profile support, the latter a little gratuitous but necessary.
Of course, what is more than likely is that the board will come back once more, maybe next year, with new proposals, parts of which may be unpalatable to the public. The advantage for campaigners as the fight goes on is that election season is not so far away – locally in 2014 and nationally in 2015. Woe betide any politician which fails to stop a hospital sell-off in the final run up to voting day. It could be akin to scratching their own name of the ballot paper.
With politicians’ minds sharpened and a hospital board more committed to open discussion, the chance is there now for a proper debate with everybody who cares. Rather than cook up plans in secret – remember it needed the New Journal’s Tom Foot to bring the plans to cut hundreds of jobs and sell off half the site in Archway to public attention… even the MPs were in the dark – the hospital can now work with the people who marched through the streets in defence of a service at the heart of their community.