Lewisham Hospital update

So the consultation results are in.  Apparently it’s a great idea to close Lewisham A&E and maternity wards.  I’m sure that’s what you all sent to the consultation.

Email from our local MP Heidi Alexander (emphasis mine):

Dear Sir/Madam
Thank you again for signing the petition to save Lewisham Hospital’s A&E and maternity department, which I presented to No. 10 just before Christmas. Over 35,000 people have now signed the petition, and together we are sending a loud and clear message that we strongly oppose the plans for closure.
Despite this, we learnt this week that the Special Administrator appointed to the South London Healthcare Trust has formally recommended to Government that both A&E and maternity services at Lewisham should close. He proposes to replace them with an urgent care centre and a midwife-led birthing unit.
Many people – including me – feel badly let down by the so-called consultation process that has taken place. It is sheer madness to be shutting down services at a solvent, successful hospital in order to deal with financial problems elsewhere. I am also extremely concerned about the inadequate services that will be left for South East London – just this week the two closest maternity units, at Queen Elizabeth, Woolwich and Kings, had to turn away pregnant women in labour as they were at capacity.
But this is not a done deal, and together we must keep up the fight.
The Health Secretary is currently considering these proposals, and will be announcing his decision on 1st February. Along with my parliamentary colleagues Dame Joan Ruddock and Jim Dowd, I will be doing all that I can to convince the Health Secretary of the case against these proposals. But we need your help.
Between now and 1st February, please do all that you can to help the campaign. If you have 5 minutes or 5 days, there are lots of ways you can get involved. At the bottom of this email, there are specific contacts and things you can do to help – for example, leafleting, making placards or being a steward at campaign events.
If you can only spare a little time, please do the following:

  1. Protest against the proposals. The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign have organised a second peaceful demonstration on Saturday 26th January. Assemble at Lewisham Roundabout (by the station) at 12, before we march past the hospital to Mountsfield Park for a rally, music and giant petition. I will be speaking at the rally.
  2. Let the Secretary of State know what you think by sending your views directly to him. Email Jeremy Hunt on mb-sofs@dh.gsi.gov.uk or write to him at Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, Department for Health, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS
  3. Forward this email on to your friends. Spread the word about the campaign! This does not only affect the people of Lewisham, and Mr Hunt needs to know that people across South East London are not prepared to accept these recommendations and have their services and their safety compromised.

The campaign to Save Lewisham Hospital is far from over. We must be prepared to step up and make our voices heard. I hope we can count upon your support.
Best wishes
Heidi Alexander MP

9 Comments

Filed under lewisham, politics

9 responses to “Lewisham Hospital update

  1. Helen Caruana Galizia

    How right you are about the “consultation” – as most of them it was disregarded. Do they really think we believe them when they say there is to be a consultation?

  2. Rowland Evans

    It went further than Woolwich. Darenth Valley Hospital at Dartford
    closed down temporarily over Christmas owing to overload.
    I wrote to my MP who told me it was the concern of the PCT’s and that government could not get involved. Why can’t we be more discerning abouit overseas aid, giving only to really deserving countries?
    Our people are suffering at the expense of others.

  3. Chris Staddon

    I’m crunching some numbers and Lewisham Hospitals NHS Trust is 31.95% more efficient than South London on Costs vs patient numbers; 39% more efficient on cleaning services costs – and a whopping 47.56% more efficient when it comes to staffing costs. And I’m using the NHS’s own data … http://www.hefs.ic.nhs.uk/ReportFilter.asp
    So surely the consultation should already be focussing on what Lewisham is doing to be so much more efficient? Then look to either applying those efficiencies to South London… or close South London and allow Lewisham to manage both Trusts. I would send my analysis to Heidi Alexander but as I’m not from Lewisham, I can’t…

  4. Alan Burkitt-Gray

    Mr Evans, it’s nothing to do with overseas aid. That’s a tiny, tiny proportion of our national budget. And no one is suggesting cutting Lewisham hospital’s services because of constraints on national expenditure. It’s because the cluster of hospitals around Greenwich and Bexley have effectively gone bust, and so the government has decided to shore them up by taking away services from Lewisham.
    It’s as if the government had decided to do something about the bankruptcy of Comet and Jessops by telling the John Lewis Partnership or Tesco that they were no longer allowed to sell TV sets or cameras.
    Lewisham hospital is successful and shouldn’t be damaged to help save face in Greenwich and Bexley (I write as a Greenwich resident). Don’t confuse the argument by having your personal rant against overseas aid. That doesn’t help anyone.

  5. Benjamin

    The proposal is in fact just that, to have Lewisham , or rather its Trust (which only runs Lewisham) run Queen Elizabeth Woolwich as well. In other words, a merger. The report says this was suggested by the Lewisham Trust, which is quite surprising as the effects on Lewisham etc residents are very adverse. Perhaps protests should also be aimed at those who run the Lewisham Hospital Trust. Can they explain why they have come up with these prejudicial recommendations? They don’t seem to have the backing of either residents or their own employees, which for any board should be quite an indicator that they are doing the wrong thing.

    • Jon

      I believe Lewisham Hospital Trust, because of its efficient running of its own house and proximity to Woolwich, was asked to head the merger/takeover of QE. The TSA added in the Lewisham closures afterwards, much to the apparent horror of Lewisham Hospital workers.

  6. richard

    “And no one is suggesting cutting Lewisham hospital’s services because of constraints on national expenditure”. I think they probably are. Our previous insnane PM would have written a cheque to make this mess go away. Thats more or less why we now have to face these unfortunate choices.

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