COPIES of a draft report - with plans to axe Lewisham’s Hospital A&E - were torched last night at a vigil to mark the end of the public consultation.
Chants, candles, lanterns, and near-continuous toots of support from passing traffic cheered the chilly evening as more than 200 protesters gathered outside the hospital.
As the clock ticked down to the midnight deadline, staff nurse at the A&E Daniel Paschoud flung a copy of the TSA’s report onto the flames crying “this is what we think of the report”.
Despite the consultation being over, patients, doctors and Lewisham residents say the fight is not over with Mr Paschoud declaring he will “chain himself to a defibrillator” if the department were to close.
The 24-year-old said: “I have acted with the utmost professionalism until now, but if the day comes that people come to shut the department – they will find me chained to a defibrillator.
“I would go out kicking and screaming.”
Organisers of the vigil Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign say they will run a demonstration on January 26 ahead of Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt’s decision on the report in February.
Chair of Save Lewisham Hospital Dr Louise Irving said: “It is an act of vandalism.
“The ceremonial burning was to show we have no confidence in the consultation.
“It’s such amazing unity. I think that is quite unique. I think we have got to go for it.
“It is going to keep on going. Even If Jeremy Hunt says no, we will keep fighting.”