13 February 2013
Over 500 people crammed into the Archway Methodist Hall, on Tuesday 12 February, in response to plans to sell off parts of the Whittington Hospital.
Last month the board of the hospital board announced shock plans to sell off £17 million worth of public buildings in the north half of the hospital site and the closure of three wards on the main site. The plans would halve the total number of patient beds to 177 and axe 570 jobs, including around 200 nurses.
The entire board was present at the meeting and was given a hard time by members of the public and health workers from the floor of the meeting and from speakers on the platform. So big was the crowd that it also filled three over flow rooms!
Speakers at the event included MP’s Jeremy Corbyn and David Lammy, Owen Jones (author of ‘Chavs’) and veteran health campaigner Candy Udwin. Candy spoke about the importance of the Mid-Yorks health strike (Click here for the story).
There was also a warm reception for Helmut Heib from the campaign to save Lewisham hospital, which organised the stunning recent 25,000 strong march to save Lewisham A&E and maternity wards.
Helmut announced that the Lewisham campaign which was meeting the same evening was putting out a call for a London wide demonstration in mid-May. He called on the Whittington campaigners to support this call. He also said that the he would like to see a national demonstration in defence of the NHS.
The Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition which saved the A&E and maternity wards after a march of 5,000 people was set up in 2010. Click here to visit the website.
The Coalition has called a demonstration for Saturday 16 March, which organisers hope will march down Holloway Road to the hospital. There will be a planning meeting for the march on Monday 18 February 7.30pm Archway Methodist Church.
There will be a further lobby of the board: Wednesday 27th February 2-5pm, Whittington Education Centre (behind the Jenner building).