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Whittington Hospital casualty patients rise

Published: September 15, 2011

ADMISSIONS at Whittington Hospital accident and emergency unit have soared in the year since a massive people-power campaign saved it from closure, new figures show.

The Highgate NHS trust’s annual report revealed 29,807 people were admitted to the hospital through the doors of A&E in 2010-2011 – up by 9 per cent on the year before.

Thousands marched against plans to shut down the casualty department, and top-level politicians forced NHS bosses into a U-turn in May 2010.

The statistics cast doubt over repeated claims being made by NHS advisers that there are too many hospitals in North Central London sector – spanning Camden, Islington, Barnet, Haringey and Enfield.

The campaign to save the A&E unit at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield learned on Monday that an independent panel had rejected its appeal against the department’s closure.

It means that patients from as far away as Enfield will come to the Whittington for emergency treatment.

Chairwoman of Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition Shirley Franklin said: “This shows there was never a need to close the A&E and the plan was completely crazy. We need to go to our local hospital. It’s devastating about Chase Farm. I hope we can meet the new demand.”

The Whittington is saving £19.6 million over the next year due to a drastic shortfall in NHS funding. According to the annual report, last year the hospital met all its main government targets.


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