Save Lewisham Hospital's A&E meeting: Protesters vow to form human chain around building

This Is Local London: Mayor of Lewisham Steve Bullock talking to a packed Save Lewisham Hospital's A&E public meeting Mayor of Lewisham Steve Bullock talking to a packed Save Lewisham Hospital's A&E public meeting

PROTESTERS will form a human chain around Lewisham Hospital in a bid to halt “nonsensical” plans to close the A&E and maternity services.

Hundreds packed two overflowing halls at Save Lewisham Hospital's A&E public meeting at the hospital last night to voice their concern at the proposals.

Community outrage was coupled with a fighting spirit to oppose the plans at all cost, with Mayor of Lewisham Steve Bullock saying the council will throw its full weight behind the campaign to stop it.

It comes after South London Healthcare Trust administrator Matthew Kershaw recommended that Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s A&E take the majority of cases from Lewisham and shut the hospital’s maternity unit.

But people at the meeting refused to back down and will symbolically link hands around the hospital on November 24.

Sir Steve Bullock pledged his support saying: “This is complete nonsense and I am going to deploy the recourses of the council in every possible way to put a stop to it.

“I know how difficult public services are at the moment but to propose to rip the heart out of a hospital that is so important to a quarter of a million of people as Lewisham is – I find it staggering.”

Former midwife at Lewisham Hospital Frankie Turner – who retired in May this year – says there simply is not room at other hospitals for mums-to-be if the maternity services were to close.

The 60-year-old said: “There were 4,400 births in Lewisham Hospital last year. If you close our maternity services, where will they go?

“Daily I had to phone around hospitals like the Queen Elizabeth and Kings, and they said “no we can’t take anybody.

“There were times when I was phoning north of the river to get one patient taken. There’s no room in other hospitals.”

Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander launched an online petition against the proposed closures which currently stands at 9,341. To add your name visit ipetitions.com/petition/lewisham-hospital/signatures

To make your voice heard about the future of SLHT  visit the online consultation – which will be handed to Parliament on January 7 - at tsa.nhs.uk. The consultation closes at midnight on December 13.

Comments (3)

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2:16pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Margaret Smith says...

Whilst Labour say they will support the campaign, they need to remember with 42 Local Labour Councillors, 3 Labour MPs and a Labour Mayor, if they can not stop these plans, what is the point in voting Labour?. Lewisham People before Profit have called on the Mayor and Labour to deliver and print a flyer to every resident, giving them information and advice as to how to have a say on the consultation.Labour Spends £6million plus a year on consultants fees, it can at least get a newsletter out to every resident to support the campaign to save our Hospital
Whilst Labour say they will support the campaign, they need to remember with 42 Local Labour Councillors, 3 Labour MPs and a Labour Mayor, if they can not stop these plans, what is the point in voting Labour?. Lewisham People before Profit have called on the Mayor and Labour to deliver and print a flyer to every resident, giving them information and advice as to how to have a say on the consultation.Labour Spends £6million plus a year on consultants fees, it can at least get a newsletter out to every resident to support the campaign to save our Hospital Margaret Smith

10:19am Sat 10 Nov 12

Harry Flannel says...

In the meantine of wanting to shut down A&E `s all over the country this Government is stopping the hundreds of millions of pounds they were intending to send in an aid package to India but instead of ploughing that money back into the NHs the Government have decided to give the money to other foreign countries instead! I know its crazy ain`t it?
The other thing that popped up on the news that should all please you is the Government has 350,000 illegal immigrants backlogged in the removal system who they are thing of giving an amnesty to stay here! I kid you not!
So closing down the A&E`S with millions more in population numbers in this country hardly makes sense!?
In the meantine of wanting to shut down A&E `s all over the country this Government is stopping the hundreds of millions of pounds they were intending to send in an aid package to India but instead of ploughing that money back into the NHs the Government have decided to give the money to other foreign countries instead! I know its crazy ain`t it? The other thing that popped up on the news that should all please you is the Government has 350,000 illegal immigrants backlogged in the removal system who they are thing of giving an amnesty to stay here! I kid you not! So closing down the A&E`S with millions more in population numbers in this country hardly makes sense!? Harry Flannel

1:13pm Sat 10 Nov 12

Lord Erastus Theobald Piggott says...

Queen Mary's is also on the government hit(ler) list.

God help us all.
Queen Mary's is also on the government hit(ler) list. God help us all. Lord Erastus Theobald Piggott

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