Election candidate takes firm stance on PFI

Ellie Merton, independent parliamentary candidate for Walthamstow, is campaigning to save Whipps Cross University Hospital from the debt-laden Barts Health NHS Trust

Photo: Ellie Merton
Photo copyright of Ellie Merton

It is the first time that Ellie Merton is running for MP in her local constituency of Walthamstow, but she is no stranger to politics. As a student, she campaigned against homophobia and was elected as the Student Welfare Officer at the University of London. Recently, she has been campaigning for Palestine.

But when Whipps Cross hospital was rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission in March, Ms Merton knew she had to enter the election.

“I realised that I had the motivation to stand for more than just international human rights, and actually do something on an issue that really worried me; my local hospital,” she says.

Continue reading Election candidate takes firm stance on PFI

Liveblog: Follow us on an open top bus tour of East London’s PFI

The People vs PFI team on the campaign bus
East London’s Barts Health, the largest NHS Trust in the country, is facing a terrible crisis.

Crippled by an ever-growing deficit, now estimated at £93m, it was put into special measures last month following a damning CQC report.

Local campaigning group People vs Barts PFI blames the 40-year Private Finance Initiative contract the Trust has signed for the construction and maintenance of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Aiming to raise awareness about the scale of the problem, today they are taking an open top bus round East London stopping by a series of PFI locations.

Click through this link or on the image to follow our live coverage:

 

PFI Liveblog

For more background on the crisis of Barts Health NHS Trust read our interview with local campaigners Helen Mercer and Mary Burnett:
https://pfeyeblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/people-vs-barts-health-pfi-campaigners-on-the-debt-crisis-crippling-the-east-london-trust/

People vs Barts Health PFI campaigners on the debt crisis crippling the East London trust

The PFI-funded Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London. Barts Health NHS Trust will have to pay over £7bn in construction and maintenance charges over the next 30 years.
The PFI-funded Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, East London. Barts Health NHS Trust will have to pay over £7bn in construction and maintenance charges over the next 30 years. Credit: Patrick Mackie / The Geograph

Barts Health, the largest NHS Trust in the country, is in the middle of a deepening crisis.

On February 4th it reported that its deficit had swollen to £93 million, more than double the figure quoted just seven months earlier.

Then, in an unexpected twist, the Chief Executive Peter Morris announced his resignation last week after eight years at the helm of the troubled East London trust.

The financial woes of Barts have been a disaster waiting to happen ever since the trust signed up to a £1.1 billion scheme for the redevelopment of the Royal London hospital in 2006.

By the time the state-of-the-art facility in Whitechapel opened its doors six years later the project had left behind a trail of toxic debt.

Continue reading People vs Barts Health PFI campaigners on the debt crisis crippling the East London trust