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Urging Mr Hunt to Save Lewisham Hospital

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15 January 2013
Mr Hunt to Save Lewisham Hospital This is just a quick update on the meeting that took place yesterday between South London MPs and the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. In response to last week’s urgent question in the Commons by Lewisham Deptford MP Joan Ruddock, Mr Hunt offered to meet with MPs affected by the proposals to close the A&E and maternity department at Lewisham. He was true to his word and we had a long and heated meeting.

Much of the discussion focussed on Lewisham and concern was expressed by many of those present about the impact that these changes would have across South London. Closing the A&E and maternity is bad for Lewisham residents but also has serious implications for capacity at other hospitals. There is real doubt that the expensive changes planned at other hospitals to cope with this additional demand will deal with the flow of patients that will result from closing the A&E and maternity. Many of us spoke about how it is unfair that Lewisham – a solvent, successful hospital which is not part of the South London Healthcare Trust – has been dragged into this and we outlined why we think there are legal questions about the whole process and serious questions about the finances.

Whilst the Special Administrator to the South London Healthcare Trust did most of the talking, Mr Hunt seemed to be listening to the arguments on both sides. Only time will tell whether he has really taken on board what was said but he can be under no illusion about the anger and concern that exists about these proposals.

The 3 Lewisham MPs presented a paper to Mr Hunt outlining the case against closing the A&E and maternity at Lewisham. You can read the paper by clicking here. We have been repeatedly told by both the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary that the Government’s own “tests” for major reconfigurations of health services would have to be met with regard to Lewisham. We detail in our paper why the proposal to close Lewisham’s A&E and maternity fails each of the four tests which the Government have said would apply.

The case against recommendation 5 (closure of A&E and maternity at Lewisham Hospital)


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