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Ryhurst should do the decent thing and drop attempt to sue Whittington Hospital

21 September, 2018

The Whittington Hospital

• RYHURST’S suing of the Whittington Hospital for £2million over a failed strategic estate partnership (SEP) procurement deal is morally repugnant and another example of how Rydon, of Grenfell ‘fame’, its parent company, operates to exploit public services and the NHS.

This is money desperately needed for patient care. It gives the lie to the proclaimed concern of Ryhurst to help the Whittington do better and support the NHS. Who could believe it? The Whittington has been a great district hospital because of the dedication and hard work of its staff and community.

The Defend Whittington Hospital Coalition (DWHC) supported an in-house estates strategy from the start. And opposed the unethical arrangement involving Ryhurst/Rydon for which no board minutes are available for some of the most critical decisions.

It is not clear how and why the in-house strategy was overthrown in favour of a dubious private company deal. DWHC and others in the community have upheld the true values of the NHS locally in the face of chronic underfunding and destructive “reconfiguring” of the NHS nationally – strategies to facilitate the marketing of NHS services and further the involvement of multinationals.

The secretive procurement process and business plan of the Whittington Ryhurst SEP were always in question, with no public scrutiny or accountability, no proper community consultation and plenty of propaganda too good to be true.

That the Whittington management got entangled for so long in such a situation with the support of NHS Improvement and the stick of government-induced NHS property fire sales is symptomatic of the whole insidious process of privatising the NHS behind the public’s back.

There needs to be a ban on such carryings-on playing with hundreds of millions of pounds of public resources. In the meantime, one would have thought Rydon and its subsidiary had sunk low enough in public opinion without the abhorrent action of suing our Whittington Hospital and community health services for £2million. They should do the decent thing and drop it.

Anyone concerned about this nasty threat to local NHS funds could contact their MP, councillors and the secretary of state for health.

SHARON LYTTON
N6

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