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NHS trust plan to sell off hospital’s education centre

New mental health hospital will be built on land currently occupied by the Whittington Education Centre

10 August, 2018 — By Tom Foot

The Whittington Hospital

NHS chiefs have unveiled a plan to sell off a medical education centre at the Whittington Hospital.

Camden and Islington Foundation NHS trust have launched a consultation on plans to move patients out of St Pancras Hospital – and sell off 80 per cent of the site. The documents say C&I will build a new mental health hospital on land currently occupied by the Whittington Education Centre, one of the largest centres of training and accreditation of health professionals in the country.

C&I’s medical director, Dr Vincent Kerchner, said it was important to get rid of “depressing” buildings that were “not fit for purpose” and improve patient services, adding: “We want to use this one-off asset to do something really powerful. We are listening to the concerns of staff too. It’s not good for staff or patients to be in depressing buildings. We can’t delay this any more.”

The land would be bought from the Whittington for £14.5million, the papers say. The Whittington earmarked the education centre for sale under its estate strategy, approved by the board in 2016.

However, the project has been significantly delayed by the board’s decision to bring in estate company Ryhurst to help with its regeneration plans. Campaigners fought the Ryhurst deal because the company was a subsidiary of Rydon, the lead contractor of the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower. Board chiefs caved in two months ago in a significant victory for the Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition.

C&I’s leaving St Pancras is expected to pave the way for Moorfields to move its world-leading eye centre into the site.

The consultation runs until October.

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