Nurses at Chase Farm hospital facing eviction!

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Nusrses’ quarters on the Chase Farm site boarded up with metal plates
Nusrses’ quarters on the Chase Farm site boarded up with metal plates

Eight mental health workers and their families, who live in the Chase Farm hospital residences, face eviction.

The trust has issued eviction notices for these tenants to vacate their homes by last January 31 2012.

The only option they were given in order to stay is to agree to pay treble their current rent.

Francis Akinbade, one of the mental health workers facing eviction told News Line: ‘I have been living here on the hospital grounds in the hospital residence for 20 years.

‘The cheaper rent is part of a working agreement because I work in Mental health at Chase Farm hospital.

‘We did not realise that this place belongs to the Chase Farm Trust, they own the property.

‘The rent was £470 a month which is cheap but it meant that we are called in at any time.

‘We are looking after the whole mental health unit.

‘There is an internal arrangement so that we do a rota.

‘Because we live on site, if there is any crisis we are targeted to come in and help and we are obliged to help.

‘The problems started when we just got a letter, the first letter came in October 2011 to say that we are being evicted and it was a shock because there was no warning.

‘Initially I thought I had done something wrong.

‘I went to the Hostel Management, who explained I had not done anything wrong.

‘Our hostel management had decided that they would remove our subsidy.

‘They were not prepared to subsidise this place anymore and it would be up to us to pay the full rent which would be £1,400 a month which is almost three times what we are paying now.

‘Our rent is taken straight out of our pay cheque.|

‘If they took that amount out – £1,400, after paying council tax on top, it would leave me with nothing!

‘I would have to go out begging, I just would not be able to cope.

‘I would not have enough money for food and to maintain my kids.

‘When I started here I served the community to the best of my abilities and I am still willing to do so.

‘I have given 20 years of my life!

‘This eviction notice has made me so confused, I cannot focus at work and this is affecting my job, I am not happy.

‘It is not fair the way that they are treating us.

‘I have health issues and this is affecting my health.

‘We have been to our unions, I am in Unison and my wife is in RCN.

‘We have been to the Citizens Advice Bureau and now I am pleased that the North East London Council of Action is supporting us.

‘I do not have anywhere to go! We will fight this, we have the right to stay and they cannot put us on the streets.

‘I support occupying as long as it is within the law, we will refuse to move!

‘Chase Farm has been of great benefit for the people who live in the local community.

‘My daughter was born here.

‘How many lives have been saved because this hospital is in reach? It is close by and that is important.

‘It is unbelievable that they are trying to shut down the paediatrics, A&E and maternity services, this is not a wise decision.

‘I think that the north East London Council of Action is doing a great job, we appreciate their efforts.

‘Everyday when we see the daily picket outside the front of the hospital we make sure we pick up a leaflet.

‘My son who is now at university in Canterbury is involved in the campaign to save Chase Farm and he has supported the cause for so many years.

‘I also support the policy of occupation of any department threatened with closure at Chase Farm hospital.

‘The patients rely on the services at Chase Farm, the turnover of patients is very high.

‘Maternity, paediatrics and the A&E are absolutely essential and they must not close and that is why I am coming to the Council of Action meeting.’

Francis’s eight-year-old daughter Hannah said: ‘I was born at Chase Farm Hospital and it is my hospital, this is my home.

‘There are lots of friends of mine that live here in Chase Farm.

‘I was very upset when I heard that the hospital will close and I do not want my dad to lose his job.

‘I do not want to leave my home and I do not want to lose my friends.

‘I go to one of the best schools in the whole of Enfield and I do not want to have to move schools.’

Gloria Ankrah, also a mental health nurse, who recently beat plans to evict her from the hospital residence at Chase Farm, said: ‘It is disgraceful that they are upping the rent for the psychiatric nurses and mental health workers that live on the Chase Farm hospital site.

‘There has been no explanation, they told them that they have to pay three times the current rate or move!

‘It is important for us to live on the Chase Farm site.

‘When they need extra staff immediately for an emergency we just respond and do an extra shift.

‘The psychiatric nurses and mental health workers have the right to stay.

‘It is the same trust, the same compound and the same nurses but they have trebled the rent.

‘They tried to evict me but we fought and regained my stay until I retire and this is a victory that I have won.

‘We have won the fight and I feel good.

‘Everyone who is threatened with eviction or who wants to save Chase Farm hospital should come to the Council of Action meeting and get organised!’