Practical ways to save Lewisham Hospital

From Councillor Kevin Bonavia:

Lewisham Council have just served our legal challenge on the Government’s decision to drastically downgrade Lewisham Hospital A&E and maternity services on the ground that the Special Adminstrator was acting beyond his powers.

Depending on how the Government respond, this could end up being decided in Court as part of a substantial judicial review, by which we would seek the Court rendering the Government’s decision void.

As such, this could be a costly process, so the Council has set up a Legal Action Fund for the public to donate whatever they can towards legal funding. We don’t know at this early stage how much will be required, but if there is any surplus it will go to a local charity, Children First Lewisham.

The link to the online donation form can be found here: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/news/Pages/Council-takes-Lewisham-Hospital-decision-to-the-courts.aspx

I think this is a good practical step forward. I’ve replied to Kevin asking for a breakdown of the costs involved – I’ll update this page when he replies UPDATE: see below

If you can contribute to the fund, the direct link is here:
http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/socialcare/health/Pages/Contribute-to-the-Hospital-Legal-Challenge-Fund.aspx

You can pay by credit or debit card, and the minimum is a fiver.

UPDATE:

From Kevin again:

The costs of the legal challenge are initially likely to consist mostly of engaging specialist barrister expertise at Queen’s Counsel level, which unfortunately is not pro bono. Other work is being carried out by the Counsel’s in-house legal team for which there is no additional cost, although it does of course add to their workload. Provision also has to be made for any costs orders that be made by the Court during judicial review proceedings, but it is too early to estimate how much these might be at the moment.

As for operating the legal challenge fund, there are no external costs as this has been set up and maintained by Council officers, so it’s a matter of use of officers’ time, which I understand is quite minimal since the payment system used is the same as that for other payments made to the Council online. Just to make a small clarification to your post, I understand that people can enter a lower sum than the suggested £5 – and also a higher sum than the suggested maximum of £25! As of yesterday, the fund had received donations in a total sum of £2,400.

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4 Comments

Filed under lewisham

4 responses to “Practical ways to save Lewisham Hospital

  1. Sally Watson

    Thank you for publishing the link. I’m having difficulty making an online payment though as I keep getting a timed out message. Is anyone else experiencing this problem?

  2. Gina Raggett

    What? Not a word from the Bugle, the Blackheath Society or the Blackheath Village Residents’ Association in response to the fantastic ruling by the High Court that Jeremy Hunt was acting outside his powers when he announced the downgrading of Lewisham Hospital’s maternity and A&E departments??

    The absence of comment from our local bloggers and websites could mean that not everyone is aware of a petition seeking to persuade Jeremy Hunt to accept the decision and not spend more taxpayers’ money appealing it.

    This is the link:

    http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/accept-the-lewisham-hospital-decision

    Local people have won a sensational battle, but the war goes on. Please sign the petition and forward it to absolutely everybody!

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