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Whittington Hospital estate U-turn is welcome

05 July, 2018

Whittington Hospital

• DEFEND Whittington Hospital Coalition is deeply relieved that the board of Whittington Health have at last gained a glimmer of compassion, morality and responsibility by changing their minds about using Ryhurst, subsidiary of Grenfell contractor Rydon, on a 10-year contract to manage their estate strategy, (Official: Hospital to scrap its deal with Grenfell firm, June 29).

We are relieved that the management for this massive project is now being brought back in-house, where it started about two years ago. The board’s unanimous decision to use Rydon/Ryhurst was extraordinary.

Information about Rydon’s involvement at Grenfell and other sites it renovated was available on the internet before last June when the hospital executive group chose it at the beginning of June 2017.

They failed to change their mind, even after the deaths of 72 people in a terrible fire. The board pleaded legal costs as its reason for not breaking the procurement agreement. Those costs will be far higher now that the planning process is under way. We should point out that if Rydon does sue we will organise a massive protest against this company.

This disastrous scenario is related to the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, which encourages commissioning and privatisation of our health services, and to the 2017 Naylor Review, which encourages selling off of land.

We have always been opposed to this legislation and look forward to its repeal. This campaign has shown how we work as a coalition. It is the third campaign we have waged for our hospital and the third that we have won!

We would like to thank all those who have helped us in our campaign, including our MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Catherine West and Emily Thornberry, and a very special, huge, thanks to reporter Tom Foot and your newspapers for making it known across our community.

Defend the Whittington Coalition


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