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Justice for Lewisham Hospital

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30 October 2013
Future of Lewisham Hospital Yesterday the Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the Government’s appeal against the High Court's ruling that the Secretary of State for Health acted outside his powers in taking a decision decimate A&E and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital. Here is my reaction to that judgement:
This is a fantastic result for Lewisham Hospital. It’s a victory for campaigners but also a humiliation for the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. 

Common-sense dictates that there must be something wrong with a process which sees a successful, solvent hospital facing the axe in order to sort out financial problems elsewhere in the NHS. 

We’ve long thought that the law was on our side on this point and today we’ve had that confirmed. 

The Government should never have pursued this case in the Court of Appeal. They should have accepted their first defeat gracefully and used the time and money they wasted, to invest in A&Es which, as we all know, are under enormous pressure. 

Whilst Lewisham Hospital now seems to be safe, we still have a huge fight on our hands to stop this happening elsewhere.
The Government are currently trying to change the law to allow them to do exactly the sort of thing that the courts ruled they can’t do in Lewisham. 

Their recent amendments to the Care Bill, which would extend the power of NHS special administrators to close hospital services at will, are deeply concerning and we need to fight their proposals tooth and nail.

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