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Corbyn: NHS having to sell off land to survive

Labour leader says chronic lack of cash was behind Whitt­ington board’s decision to hire private company

03 November, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn protesting in 2013

JEREMY Corbyn has warned that the Whitt­ington is being forced to sell off public-owned assets “in order to survive”.

The Labour leader and Islington North MP said that chronic lack of cash was behind the hospital board’s decision to hire Ryhurst. Yesterday (Thursday), he told the Tribune: “What I am concerned about is that the NHS is selling off resources in order to survive because of underfunding by central government. That is the fundamental problem.

“I am concerned that the Whittington is selling off land. If it is for health use, by another health authority, I can understand that we need to fulfil health needs.”

He added: “I do understand all the concerns about the contract that the Whittington is now entering into and I understand Islington Council is due to examine that through the health scrutiny committee.”

Mr Corbyn was a founder member of the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition, set up in 2010, which protested inside the boardroom once again on Wednesday.

He was a key figure in two successful campaigns, to stop the A&E closure in 2010, and to halt a major sell-off proposal in 2013, and spoke at major rallies against the cuts. He has also raised the plight of the hospital several times in Parliament in his role as MP.

Recently, as Labour leader, he called for an end to the use of private finance initiatives (PFIs) – long-term contracts between the public and private sectors – to fund major developments at NHS hospitals.

During a visit to the Whittington in March, he said: “The Labour Party I lead will hold this government to account for their shocking failure to support and protect the world’s best health care service – our NHS.”


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