Camden News
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Camden New Journal - FORUM: Opinion in the CNJ
Published: 26 November 2009
Whittington Hospital
Over 80,000 reasons to save A&E

There is a large cloud on the horizon – NHS London want to reduce spending on acute hospital services, warns Jeremy Corbyn

THE Whittington Hospital’s Accident and Emergency unit treated 80,000 people last year.
These patients walked through the door or were driven there with a blue-light ambulance and received first-rate treatment from highly dedicated staff.
A few miles away similar numbers were treated at an A&E unit at the Royal Free, and across the road from Euston station is the brand new University College London Hospital which treated more than 130,000.
The heart of any hospital is its A&E unit. It enjoys the expertise of brilliant and committed people, providing the back-up for operations and services throughout the whole building.
The Whittington unit has been completely refurbished in the last few years and is extremely well run and very popular.
Indeed, beyond that, the Whittington Hospital, with all its history as (originally) a smallpox hospital, and a place of support long before the National Health Service was established, has had the new Royal Northern Wing constructed and the wonderful new wards and entrance leading onto Magdala Avenue.
It is something that the hospital and the local community are rightly proud of. Its popularity with the local doctors means that last year, like the previous years, was extraordinarily busy.
There i, however, a very large cloud on the horizon. NHS London are trying to reduce the amount of money spent on acute hospital services throughout each of the capital’s sub-regions.
Islington is in the region that includes Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Enfield.
The area includes six major hospitals: Chase Farm, Barnet General, UCLH, North Middlesex, and the Royal Free as well as Whittington Hospital.
A consultation is to be undertaken on future hospital provisions.
The regional planners are working on the assumption that UCLH and the North Middlesex will continue to be the major hospitals for the region, and they are intending to look at future A&E provisions, including that of the Whittington and the Royal Free.
I am very concerned that the idea of closing the A&E unit of the Whittington should reach any agenda of long-term planning.
I understand that primary care trusts are going to start considering options in January 2010.
The loss of the Whittington A&E and its support for 80,000 patients would mean that there would be no
A&E provision anywhere between Euston Road and the North Circular.
This would leave the residents of Islington, Haringey and a large part of Barnet with no local provision at all.
Many people have contacted me to express their affection and support for our local hospital, and their admiration and support for the principle of our National Health Service – free at the point of use to all.
On December 9
I shall be chairing a public discussion about the Whittington at the Methodist Central Hall, Archway Close, N19.
I have invited local organisations, the Whittington Hospital and NHS Islington to come to that meeting to allow a serious discussion and explain that funding of the health service comes from taxation and all of us have a responsibility to ensure that it is effectively and efficiently provided at a local level.
Our local hospital does just that and I want to see any threat removed so that it
can continue in this way.
I have raised the matter in parliament and MPs from all parts of north London are signing a motion on it.

• Jeremy Corbyn is the Labour MP for Islington North.

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions