Author Archives: wfsonhs

Letter to London Mayoral Candidates (2021)

We are writing to you regarding future provision of health services in North East London, particularly proposals for a new Whipps Cross hospital in Waltham Forest. Whilst plans for a new hospital at Whipps Cross are to be welcomed, there are four concerns that could inhibit the building of a new hospital that is truly fit for purpose for the increasing needs of the local area.

Firstly, designs for the new Whipps Cross hospital propose that the facility will have 51 fewer beds, despite statistics from Waltham Forest Council predicting the local population will increase by 19%, from 277,100 residents in 2020 to 329,200 in 2050.

Secondly there are concerns that facilities & services at the new hospital will be less comprehensive than pre-pandemic. In particular, the scope of surgical provision may not support the range of surgical emergencies that could present via a Blue-light A&E. In fact, Alastair Finney, Director of the Whipps Cross Redevelopment, implied at a public engagement meeting, that aside from Maternity and A&E, there will be a limited range of surgical provision at the new Whipps Cross. This is concerning, as an article in the Health Service Journal on the 18th December 2020, reported Whipps Cross had to turn ambulances away; the article emphases that Whipps Cross hospital is currently much smaller than neighbouring hospitals and at the height of the crisis, neighbouring hospitals were unable to help out.

Thirdly, Barts Health NHS Trust have said proposals for the new hospital at Whipps Cross will follow an Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) model. Proposals for ICSs are contained in the new NHS White Paper, however, should community and Primary Care facilities not be available, the ICSs model could bring in the private sector to run inadequate local services. This could complicate provision of comprehensive, health care and restrict access when demand is on the increase. ICSs also utilise a ‘single pot’ limited budget, with ‘system control’ totals that will compel healthcare provision with each ICS ‘footprint’ to stay within budget. The new Whipps Cross has been designed, despite a £400 million shortfall in Government funding.

Fourthly, there is concern the Margaret Centre for Specialist Palliative Care Unit will not be included in plans for Whipps Cross Hospital. For 34 years The Margaret Centre has provided outstanding care for people who are dying and support for those close to them. No comparable service exists in Waltham Forest and much of Redbridge. The Margaret Centre provides holistic care with a multi-disciplinary team working across the community and inpatient setting. Care is therefore seamless. If someone does need admission to the unit for end of life care, they are amongst staff who know them and the family, in surroundings that are more calm and homely than clinical, but with the highest clinical expertise.

Therefore, we request that you urge Barts Health NHS Trust to agree the following points:

  1. Reinstate 51 beds in new Whipps Cross hospital designs to ensure capacity for growing population.
  2. Ensure A&E services retain sufficient facilities and clinical expertise for elective and emergency surgery at WhippsCross to avoid undue pressure on emergency services in other hospitals across North East London and most importantly to avoid patients being turned away due to under- capacity.
  3. Keep Margaret Centre for Specialist Palliative Care Unit at new Whipps Cross hospital.
  4. Secure funding for new hospital to address £400 million shortfall and avoid capped budgets.

Thank you for taking the time to consider our concerns. Waltham Forest Save OurNHS

Open letter to all North East London MPs

We really welcome Bart’s commitment to building a new hospital at Whipps Cross, but are concerned about the funding and details of their proposals. Despite our population growth they’re proposing a cut of at least 51 beds and assume vastly improved community services will support this. We fear there’s a serious risk that sick people could fall through the net.

We’re fighting for a hospital designed for our community’s future needs, properly financed and sustainably built.

We’re concerned that decisions are being made behind closed doors and have real concerns about some of their proposals so we will be sent the following open letter to all the North London MP’s

To All North East London MPs 

We are writing to you as our parliamentary representatives for North East London about our concerns regarding the new Whipps Cross Hospital.

While welcoming the development of a much needed new hospital we have major concerns outlined below:

  • 51 fewer beds are proposed for the new hospital at Whipps Cross (running pre-Covid at 98% occupancy) despite a huge population growth across our area.
  • The so called ‘flexibility’ of the bed plans will mean more patients from the Whipps Cross catchment going to other hospitals in North East London. 

There is already evidence of bed shortages in Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust. Fewer beds in Whipps Cross will mean pressure on hospitals from Hackney to Romford with the risk that some residents may not receive the timely hospital care that they need.

  • The highly specialised and valued Palliative Care Unit at the Margaret Centre and the holistic multi-disciplinary services it offers, will not be provided as a distinct  specialist unit in the new Whipps Cross.

In practice this will mean more patients dying in distress on hospital wards or at home, without the support patients and their families currently receive from the Margaret Centre. No comparable services exist for the populations of Waltham Forest and much of Redbridge.

  • Although Barts Trust justify these cuts in beds and service provision by assuming  extra investment in the community, everybody knows that community services both in health and social services are under-funded, under -resourced and overstretched.
  • The imperative for the new Whipps Cross to be net zero carbon and truly sustainable also calls for appropriate resourcing.
  • We believe that all these issues are linked to insufficient government funding to build the new hospital and ask you to use your position to advocate on our behalf for more funding, more beds and a ring-fenced palliative Care unit at the new Whipps Cross.

This needs your urgent attention as in February 2020 Barts are seeking planning permission for their outline plans. It would be a travesty if this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for a new hospital yielded the same unsafe pressures as currently. 


We are asking you all to work together to raise our concerns with the Secretary of State for Health, and in the House of Commons. Thank you.

Get involved in saving our NHS!

‘Waltham Forest – Save Our NHS’ aims to support the NHS in Waltham Forest to continue as a not-for-profit service, providing best quality healthcare, free to all users at the point of delivery, and funded through taxation. We raise public awareness of any local or national changes to the NHS and challenge any service changes or cuts that threaten the quality of healthcare in Waltham Forest.

We are currently very busy campaigning against the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs). As you may know, our local NHS services in North East London are at risk of massive reorganisation and funding and service cuts through the Transforming Services Together (TST) proposals, which are in turn part of an umbrella STP for the whole of North East London. Our local STP and TST are just 1 instance of the 44 STP health areas across England. This national programme is being conducted largely in secrecy with no meaningful consultation with the public or NHS staff; it could result in £22 billion of cuts, reconfigurations, fragmentation and privatisation of NHS care .

Get involved: we are not currently regularly updating this website, but please follow our Facebook page and contact us at for more information about the group, to get added to our email list or to find out the date of our next meeting. Meetings of the group normally take place monthly at 7.30 on Monday evenings at Ye Olde Rose & Crown, 55 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, London E17 4SA and are open to all residents of Waltham Forest who support the aims of the group.

Petition: properly fund the NHS & scrap the “Sustainability & Transformation Plan”

As you may know, our local NHS services in North East London are at risk of massive reorganisation and funding and service cuts through the Transforming Services Together (TST) proposals, which are in turn part of an umbrella Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for the whole of North East London.

Our local STP and TST are just 1 instance of the 44 STP health areas (footprints) across England.

This national programme is being conducted largely in secrecy with no meaningful consultation with the public or NHS staff; it could result in £22 billion of cuts, reconfigurations, fragmentation and privatisation of NHS care .

Please sign the petition below and share as widely as you can with family, friends and neighbours. We need a massive national response to scrap these plans.

with thanks

Waltham Forest Save Our NHS
The UK spends less on health as a share of its GDP than most other G7 countries. Our NHS is under pressure as never before and is in danger of failure. The NHS is effectively only getting an increase of 0.95% per year. The STP programme will close A&E’s and essential services across the country.

Whipps Cross Hospital at risk

The government is making health organisations across England implement 5 year plans to cut debts and budgets and to shift care from hospitals to the community.  The plan for Waltham Forest includes cutting emergency surgery at Whipps Cross at night and instead taking patients to the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel. This will directly threaten A&E and Maternity at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Down-load the attached leaflet for more information and write to your MP Stella Creasy (Walthamstow), Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green) or John Cryer (Leyton and Wansted), to ask what they are doing to ensure we don’t loose our A&E and Maternity Services at Whipps Cross Hospital. You can use this sample Letter to MPs 2016

For more information see our summary of Transforming services or the more in-depth Joint campaigns response, Final 28th May 2016

Save Whipps Cross

NHS being hit from all sides

● The imposition of contracts on junior doctors that are not fair on doctors and not safe for patients.

● The threat to stop bursaries paid to student nurses and other health care students that will leave them £50,000 in debt

● Barts Health has the biggest deficit in the history of the NHS and a huge Private Finance Initiative debt bleeding our local health service dry.

It is crucial we fully support the junior doctors and fight off all attacks and demand a properly funded, publically provided NHS.

What you can do.

Visit the junior doctors picket lines at Whipps Cross from 8am on

● Wednesday and Thursday 6-7 April

● Tuesday and Wednesday 26-27 April

Send messages of support and speaker requests to

Join the Facebook group Whipps Cross Solidarity for information, petitions and further activities.

Print off and distribute this Leaflet produced jointly by Whipps Cross BMA and Waltham Forest Save Our NHS

Support the NHS Bill

Bring Back our NHS in England- Support the National Health Service Bill​

On Friday 11 March, the National Health Service Bill 2015-16 will have its second reading in Parliament, tabled by Green MP, Caroline Lucas. It currently has the support of 76 MPs including Lucas, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

Brief summary of the NHS Bill

In short, the Bill proposes to fully restore the NHS as an accountable public service by reversing 25 years of marketization in the NHS, by abolishing the purchaser-provider split, ending contracting and re-establishing public bodies and public services accountable to local communities.

This is necessary to stop the dismantling of the NHS under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It is driven by the needs of local communities. Scotland and Wales have already reversed marketization and restored their NHS without massive upheaval. England can too.

Take Action

Sign the online Petition :

If you have a Labour MP, please ask them to state their support for the Bill. While Jeremy Corbyn sponsored the Bill, this was prior to his election as party leader. Therefore there is a possibility, but by no means a certainty, that the Labour Party could start to back the principles of the Bill

Join the Day Of Action : Rally outside Parliament 11 am to 1.30 pm

Support our junior doctors and student nurses

Waterloo PlaceSW1
Following the fantastic demonstration of NHS students on 09 January against the threat to remove NHS student bursaries, student nurses are planning a week of action including a walkout between 10 and 11am on 10 February to coincide with the possible doctors’ strike