Whittington consultants speak out for their patients

March 24, 2010

I’ve read on Lynne Featherstone’s blog that all consultants at the Whittington have now spoken out publicly against the current closure plans of the A&E. Please read their carefully worded statement below.

I am sure there is a lot of pressure on medical staff not to speak out publicly from within the NHS so I assume that this wasn’t easy for them to do.

To all the Whittington consultants: Thank you so much for speaking out ! Thank you for your courage ! You have truly acted in the best interest of your patients !


Public statement by the consultants of

The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust

March 2010

The North Central London Strategy Plan (25 January 2010) has made proposals for the development of health services in North Central London over the next four years.  The Strategy Plan, which is being considered by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts, puts forward seven different potential scenarios for the reconfiguration of hospital services within North Central London. Four of these seven scenarios involve either restricting the opening times of The Whittington accident and emergency department, or closing it completely. Closure of the accident and emergency department would by necessity lead to the shutting down of all emergency medical and surgical services at the Whittington.

We, the consultants of The Whittington Hospital, are completely committed to retaining a high quality full, 24/7 accident and emergency department at The Whittington.

We have no doubt that retaining a full accident and emergency at The Whittington is in the best interests of the people in North Central London. Eighty three thousand adults and children a year attend our accident and emergency department at all hours for their health needs, and fifteen thousand people a year are admitted as emergencies to our hospital. In national comparisons of hospitals across the country, The Whittington Hospital has consistently performed superbly. In October 2009 the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator of health in England, confirmed our hospital’s good quality of services and excellent financial management. In November 2009 the annual Dr Foster Quality Account, which ranks every hospital trust in England, identified the Whittington one of the safest hospitals in the country, giving an overall rating for the Whittington as 21st out of 145 hospitals. We are immensely proud of the excellent emergency services that we offer to our local people, and we are determined that they should continue.

We fully support the aims of the 2007 Healthcare for London report A Framework for Actionwhich seeks to promote excellence and remove inequalities in healthcare for the people of London. We also fully recognise the need for the NHS to optimise the efficiency and productivity of its services in the current economic climate. We welcome the opportunity to work in the future with our managers and The Trust Board, our neighbouring hospitals and the primary care trusts to continue to develop and improve the excellent services that we already offer to our local people.

Dr Ben Timmis FRCR

Chairman of The Whittington Hospital Support Committee

on behalf of all the consultants at The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust


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