Campaigners claim £15m sale agreed over Whipps Cross Hospital land
A buyer has been found for a £15m land sale at Whipps Cross Hospital, according to campaigners.
Waltham Forest Save Our NHS has now begun a bid to stop Barts Health Trust selling unused land at the Leytonstone site for £15m.
In March, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission which found it to be inadequate, the Leytonstone hospital was placed in special measures.
Shortly after, the Trust devised a plan to sell unused land on the site to fund improvements at the hospital, which could include more surgical rooms.
But, campaigners think it is a bad move.
Barts Health Trust currently owes more than £1?billion of private finance initiative contracts and the trust’s deficit is approaching £100?million, with PFI deals partly to blame.
Campaigner Andrew Sharp said the feeling among residents is that once the land has gone, the money will be quickly spent and the hospital will never be able to expand because there is no room.
It is also believed the hospital could one day be downgraded, as a result.
“Our understanding is that a buyer has been found and a sale agreed the proceeds from the sale have supposedly been earmarked for spending on Whipps Cross, though there can be no guarantees,” Mr Sharp said.
“As far as we know the proceeds from the sale will not even cover 6 weeks’ worth of PFI repayments which seems to render the sale a bit pointless from a financial point of view.
“When considering the finances alongside the fact that space will be required in order that any redevelopment of the site can go ahead, the sale really does look futile to say the least.”
A postcard campaign was launched at the Leytonstone Festival, last month.
The postcard is a letter to the directors of the board at Barts and claim residents are worried about the land sale.
They also call for a full consultation.
Campaigners from the group will also appear at Wood Street Summer Fayre on August 29.
A Barts Health NHS Trust spokeswoman would not disclose any information about the sale.
She said: “The Trust is discussing options with local health partners and we will be in contact with our community groups once we are in a position to engage with them about the future purpose of unused land at Whipps Cross Hospital.”
The PFI repayments at Barts are estimated to be around £131m per year.
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