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Whittington Hospital campaigners 'not convinced'

Campaigners who fought to save wards and jobs at a north London hospital say they are not convinced by the trust's new plans for the future.

Last week bosses at Whittington Hospital scrapped their original plans. Today they've announced they won't cut the number of beds, and instead of limiting the number of babies born there, they'll invest in expanding maternity services.

Ria Chatterjee reports:

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Whittington restructuring plans to 'meet future needs'

Whittington Health’s medical director for integrated care has welcomed a revision of plans to restructure Whittington Hospital.

Dr Greg Battle speaking to ITV London last week. Credit: ITV London

Dr Greg Battle said: “I appreciate people’s concerns and reservations on moving care into the community.

"I would like to reassure everyone that medical advances mean there has been a reduction in lengths of stay in hospital and the evidence is that patients recover much better when they are at home.

"Regarding hospital beds, we have reviewed our bed requirements and will retain the overall number of beds while they are needed and commissioned - to ensure patients are treated within national standards and to meet future needs".

'Genuine listening exercise' over Whittington revision

Unpopular plans to sell-off a third of the Whittington Hospitals buildings and axe hundreds of staff have been scrapped, with new plans retaining two out of three buildings.

Chief executive Dr Yi Mien Koh said today:

This has been genuine listening exercise. I would like to thank everyone who took part and gave us their views. Concerns were raised on four key issues: moving care closer to home, the sale of buildings, reduction in wards and our staff.

We have listened and have made major changes to our plans. We believe our strategy of better coordinated care designed around individual patient’s needs is right. We will continue our pioneering work in this field to provide high quality care to all our patients and service users.

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Whittington Hospital restructuring plans revealed

Revised plans to restructure Whittington Hospital have been published, after its board axed plans to sell-off of property and cut a number of jobs.

The trust changed its plans after mass protests took place in London. According to the report Transforming Healthcare for Tomorrow, the trust plans to:

  • Ensure that any service moved closer to home will be in patients’ best interests based on clinical evidence.
  • Two buildings initially proposed for sale, the Jenner Building and the Whittington Education Centre, will be retained.
  • There will be a £10 million investment to update maternity services.
  • Seek an additional £10 million to expand the facilities to beyond 4,000 births.
  • There will be further discussions with commissioners, Islington Council planners and the community on the future of the Waterlow building and the Nurses’ Home.
  • Changes to wards and beds will still happen to ensure the effective running of the hospital but no plans to change the overall number of beds.
  • There will be no significant reduction in workforce.
  • Reduce the numbers of agency staff used.

'Complete re-think' of Whittington Hospital plans

Health bosses are going to re-draw their controversial plans for Whittington Hospital in north London.

When it was announced in January, it was described as a possible blueprint for a new kind of district general hospital.

One of the leaders of the opposition march at Whittington Hospital was the MP Emily Thornbery.

Read more: Bosses to 're-think' Whittington Hospital plans

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