'United' North London newspapers celebrate victory in campaign to 'save' Whittington Hospital

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Four North London newspapers are claiming victory in their campaign to stop Whittington Hospital cutting hundreds of staff and selling off half of its site.
 
In March, the Islington Tribune and Camden New Journal, which belong to the same independent company, and Archant’s Ham & High and Islington Gazette, organised a protest attended by 5,000 people.
 
The rally involved staff from both newspaper groups driving down the Holloway Road, in Islington,  open-top red double decker buses.
 
Four months on, the NHS Trust has backed down on the controversial plans. Medical director Dr Greg Battle has now pledged a “complete rethink” on the plans.
 
According to the CNJ and Islington Tribune, the campaign was supported by actors Dominic West, Roger Lloyd-Pack and Juliet Stevenson as well as by the singers Annie Lennox, Ms Dynamite and Alexandra Burke.
 
Camden New Journal deputy editor Richard Osley said today: "We'd like to thank everybody who backed our campaign, came to the meetings and marched behind the New Journal battle bus.
 
“The people of Camden, Islington and Haringey have shown they will not just have changes to one of the fundamental resources in their community dictated to them.
 
“These plans should have been out there in the open from the start. Tom and the editorial team did exactly what we need our local newspapers to do and are out there holding public bodies to account.
 
“We were happy to get stuck into a campaign which has delivered a welcome result."
 
Ham & High editor Geoff Martin was more cautious, though, and pledged to keep looking at for the welfare of people in the area.
 
“I was writing an editorial on this recently because there was a clear indication that the board was looking again at its proposals,” he told Press Gazette.
 
“These things are not over until they are over. I do think this is a huge step in the right direction, though.”
 
He added: “The media in this area has been very united in opposing the original plans.
 
“But we haven’t seen everything yet. We haven’t seen how it is all going to pan out and we are going to be watching it very closely.”

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