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Whittington Hospital homes: our six key tests

14 December, 2018

Whittington Hospital

• THE new relationship between Whittington Health Trust and City Hall is the first of its kind, (Whittington’s social housing plan after signing modernisation deal, December 7).

It will mean we can work with the trust as it looks to improve clinical services in Islington and Haringey, while identifying possible opportunities for new homes.

As a former Islington councillor, I know how important it is for local people to be reassured about the detail of any plans from the trust before lending their support.

The Mayor is no different, and as such he has made clear his six key “assurances” must be met before he will support any NHS transformation plans. These cover:

• Patient and public engagement. Proposals must show credible, widespread and ongoing patient and public engagement, including with marginalised groups.

• Clinical support. Proposals must demonstrate improved clinical outcomes, widespread clinical engagement and support, including from frontline staff.

• Impact on health inequality. The impact of any proposed changes to health services in London must not widen health inequalities. Plans must set out how they will narrow the gap in health equality across the capital.

• Impact on community services. Proposals must take into account the full financial impact any new models of healthcare, including social care, would have on local authority services, particularly in the broad­er context of the funding challenges councils are already facing.

• Hospital capacity. Given that the need for hospital beds is forecast to increase due to population growth and an ageing population, any proposals to reduce the number of hospital beds will need to be independently reviewed to ensure all factors have been taken into account. Any plans to close beds must be an absolute last resort, and must meet at least one of the NHS’s “common sense” conditions.

• Sufficient investment. Proper funding must be identified and available to deliver all aspects of the plans.

If these tests are met, the Mayor will be able to work with the trust to identify possible opportunities for new homes as a result of any changes.

Crucially, our agreement commits the trust to working with us to achieve 50 per cent affordable housing across sites brought forward, as required by the Mayor’s draft London plan.

The Mayor is clear that, where homes are built on public land, he expects at least 50 per cent to be council, social rented or other genuinely affordable homes.

With this agreement in place, we can work with the trust to build more homes for local people who need them.

JAMES MURRAY
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, Greater London Authority

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