Government must turn again and save the Whittington

It’s the time of year when London kids enjoy a pantomime, including that old favourite, ‘Puss in Boots’. Famously, Dick Whittington is told to ‘turn again’, to give the story a happy ending. But our local Whittington Hospital faces a very unhappy future under government-backed NHS plans.

We are told there are four choices for reorganising hospital services in north London: but all of them would see the Whittington downgraded and its 24 hour casualty unit close. Emergency cases would be sent to Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital instead. Not much choice for local people there.

I am totally opposed to any plans to downgrade the Whittington. Accidents and emergencies happen 24 hours a day and we need a 24 hour casualty unit. Anyone who knows Islington knows that it takes too long to get to Hampstead compared to a straight run up the A1 to the Whittington. Plus Islington’s population is growing. It’s madness to think of closing our local A&E now.

I’m delighted that local councillors are united in wanting to save our hospital. But Government ministers have let Islington down once again, by passing the buck and saying this is a ‘challenge for the local NHS to explain’.

A few years ago I witnessed a car accident at Archway. The young father who was hit survived because of prompt treatment at the Whittington A&E. Like so many Islington families, I’ve been helped by the Whittington. They treated a micro-tumour and quite possibly saved my life.

Dick Whittington was told to ‘turn again’. The Government must also ‘turn again’ and save the Whittington for Islington.

Meanwhile you can sign the petition here.

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