The independent London newspaper

Stop suing the Whittington, hospital protesters tell construction firm

Company which saw land deal axed says it has always been ‘open to discussion’

22 November, 2019 — By Emily Finch

NHS campaigners at the Whittington

NHS ACTIVISTS are “gearing up for their fight” outside the Royal Courts of Justice next month in opposition to the Whittington Hospital being taken to court by a multi-million-pound construction firm.

Members of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition gave out fliers on Tuesday night outside the hospital in Archway and asked hospital staff to sign a petition in opposition to the firm Ryhurst suing the NHS hospital.

As reported in the Tribune last week, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn criticised Ryhurst – a subsidiary of the Rydon group which had worked on the Grenfell Tower in west London before the devastating fire there – for the legal action.

Rydon has not been found responsible for any wrongdoing over the fire which killed 72 people in 2017.

The Whittington Hospital

The Whittington board had decided on Ryhurst as its preferred bidder for their major re-organisa­tion of its NHS-owned estate in Archway, but ­later backed out of the deal citing “improved finances”.

Ryhurst then decided to take the hospital to court for cancelling the deal.

Pam Emmerson from Archway, who was leaf­leting for the campaign on Tuesday, said: “I’m so appalled. This hospital saved my life so many times. It needs more money and staff, not less, and Ryhurst could take this away and make them lose money. This hospital is so important, It’s all we have in this area and it has to be protected.”

Shirley Franklin, chairwoman of Defend the Whittington Hospital Coa­lition, said: “We’re gearing up for a fight and we won’t let Rydon win.”

A spokeswoman for Rydon said: “We are disappointed there has not been a resolution before this stage as we have always remained open to discussion with the Trust.”

A rally outside the Royal Courts of Justice is planned for December 9.


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