CHASE FARM WILL NOT CLOSE! say residents and nurses

An enthusiastic response from patients, staff and passers-by to yesterday’s picket of Chase Farm Hospital
An enthusiastic response from patients, staff and passers-by to yesterday’s picket of Chase Farm Hospital

ON DAY 13 of the daily picket of Chase Farm Hospital, which has been called to prepare for occupation to stop its closure, nurses and patients alike were adamant it will not close.

Student midwife Crystal Pickering told News Line: ‘I am training to be a midwife. The training is great at Chase Farm. Maternity at this hospital is not overcrowded like at Barnet.

‘If Maternity closed it would put a massive strain on North Middlesex and Barnet General Hospitals.

‘I am in the RCN and the unions should take action to save Chase.’

Jodie Bayford, a local resident and patient, said: ‘I live literally three bus stops away and I don’t want this hospital to close. This hospital is a real lifesaver, a lifeline.

‘Of course I will help with the occupation of the hospital. If no-one makes a stand then they will get away with this, they cannot close our hospital down.’

Student nurse Peace Oduaran said: ‘Of course we should keep hospitals open. Should you have an emergency in Enfield, this is the closest. The RCN must not only take action to stop the closure of Chase, but our unions must take action to throw out the Health Bill. They are looking to make a lot of people redundant.

‘If it is safe and necessary, then yes, you must occupy to keep this hospital open.’

Bill Rogers, Secretary of the North East London Council of Action said: ‘We are willing and ready to occupy at any time.

‘Film crews for Turkish TV channel Hayat came down to do interviews on the picket line. We have also got some very good recruits today.’

Stephen Adrian, a BT engineer who joined the picket, said: ‘I am going to raise the issue of saving Chase Farm Hospital in my CWU union and demand they take action.

‘Everybody should down tools and not go back until we sort this out. The whole country should now strike together.’

Karina Hunter, a school student, said: ‘I was born at Chase and I was in special care when I was born and I have been attending ever since.

‘Sometimes I have emergencies with my asthma, so if I had to go to Barnet it would get a lot worse. It’s great we are fighting to keep it open.’

Her mother, Joanne Hunter said: ‘For me as a parent of a child that needs the hospital, I cannot fault the care. If occupying saves the hospital, I am all for it. If local people don’t take control of the services themselves and just sit back, then the officials will just carry on and close it.’