If you would like photos from the event, or want to organise interviews, please contact Jos on on 07977 090972
At the petition hand-in were the Lewisham Hospital Choir, hospital doctors and staff, a fantastic multifaith group, our three Lewisham MPs Heidi Alexander, Joan Ruddock and Jim Dowd, Louise Irvine, campaign Chair plus a steadfast group of campaign members. The 100 foot petition from the demonstration was handed in together with the online and paper petitions of over 50,000.
Another wonderful Lewisham demonstration – a unique show of all the talents and fighting spirit of our community and hospital.
To see great pictures from Simon Way click here or view on slideshow at the bottom of this page.
GPs, doctors and MPs say 24 hours to save a successful hospital
Today (30 January) GPs, doctors and patients joined forces with Tessa Jowell MP, Harriett Harman MP, Heidi Alexander MP, Joan Ruddock MP, Jim Dowd MP and Chuka Umunna MP to hand in petitions from over 50,000 people to the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt – urging him not to accept controversial plans to close down Lewisham Hospital. Lewisham is a clinically high performing and financially solvent Trust, but a Government administrator has proposed closing its A&E and full maternity services due to financial problems at the neighbouring South London Healthcare NHS Trust.
Jeremy Hunt will make his decision by 1 February, and Heidi Alexander said:
“This is our last appeal to Jeremy Hunt to listen. He needs to listen to the people of Lewisham who want to keep vital services at their hospital and he needs to listen to Lewisham GPs and hospitals doctors who know more about the NHS in South East London than anyone else.
“Lewisham’s A&E and maternity department must stay. It is just plain wrong to be closing much-needed, well-run services at one hospital to sort out financial problems elsewhere.”
The Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust choir – which performed at the opening of Lewisham’s £12 million new emergency department in April 2012 – performed as petitions were handed in. A&E consultant Chidi Ejimofo, who performed as the choir reached the final of the BBC2 Gareth Malone series, ‘The Choir: Sing While You Work’, said:
“Only a few months ago I was singing with the choir at the opening of the new £12 million emergency department at Lewisham Hospital. Today, I am singing to save it, and our maternity services from destruction. The plans to close vital services at Lewisham Hospital are scandalous and will have a terrible impact on the people of Lewisham.”
Dr Louise Irvine, local GP and Chair of the “Save Lewisham Hospital” campaign, said:
“The Government has 24 hours to save Lewisham Hospital – a successful and high performing Trust, which provides essential services in Lewisham. The plans to remove these vital services have not been well thought out, and GPs are extremely worried about what will happen to our patients. If a successful hospital like Lewisham is closed down, then no hospital in the country is safe.”
Helen Tattersfield, Chair of Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group, added:
“The Government has said there was extensive consultation on these plans, but the truth is that no one locally supported them. Local GPs and healthcare experts were ignored throughout the process, and we have not been given the chance to look at how we make the small financial savings needed in the future without destroying vital services at a successful hospital.”
Petitions against the plans have been signed by more than 50,000 members of the public, 408 GPs across London, and by healthcare workers at Lewisham Hospital.
Key facts on Lewisham Hospital
- Rated one of the top 40 hospitals in the UK
- Recently received an “outstanding” rating for children’s safeguarding from Ofsted/Care Quality Commission
- The Trust’s new £12 million emergency department opened in April 2012, with Gareth Malone doing a performance in the department with the Trust choir (shown on BBC2)
- Delivered 3,973 babies in 2011/12. In 2012/13 we are on target to deliver 4200 babies.