Millwall back drive to save Lewisham A&E as players sport campaign t-shirts (From This Is Local London)
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Millwall back drive to save Lewisham A&E as players sport campaign t-shirts
Millwall players sporting Save Lewisham A&E t-shirts during this afternoon's warm-up against Burnley. Picture by Keith Gillard
MILLWALL FC has shown its support for Lewisham Hospital as players took the field against Burnley this afternoon sporting Save Lewisham A&E campaign t-shirts.
The Championship clash at The Den has seen leaflets handed out and many fans wearing the shirts while footage is being taken for a planned music video to support the cause.
Saturday’s FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Aston Villa has been moved to a 7.45pm kick-off on Friday night to avoid clashing with a planned demonstration, the club has announced.
Thousands are expected to march to the hospital from Lewisham Roundabout at midday before a rally at Mountsfield Park.
A statement on Millwall’s website said: “Whilst changing the date of our cup tie is an inconvenience to us, we believe there is a bigger picture here.
“Our players, staff and many thousands of fans have, over the years, had reason to be grateful for the resources, facilities and care we have received from our local hospital.
“We are not persuaded by the arguments put forward in favour of closing the A&E department, children’s ward, intensive care and maternity services at Lewisham.
“Consequently, we have given permission for hospital staff and supporters to hand out leaflets and collect signatures for the petition at today’s match in an attempt to persuade the secretary of state Jeremy Hunt to reverse the decision.”
South London Healthcare Trust Special Administrator Matthew Kershaw recommended Lewisham A&E’s closure in his final report into the debt-ridden body released on January 8 after a 30-working-day public consultation.
Mr Hunt is set to make a final decision on Lewisham’s future on February 1.
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