In the week prior to the announcement of Hunt’s decision, NHS leaders have appeared to speak out against Lewisham Hospital’s case. Lewisham doctors from the Hospital, together with GPs, have written an open letter.
‘It is regrettable that the contributions from such senior NHS leaders and Royal Medical College leads expressed in several prominent media articles, letters and interviews, have all appeared, with unfortunate timing, within 24 hours of the public demonstration in support of Lewisham Hospital on 26 January, with an impact of undermining the strong defence of local services. It is disingenuous and deceptive to hide behind assertions that NHS change is necessary – reconfiguration in pursuit of excellence – and that anyone who argues against a hospital closure is self-seeking. It is not opposition to change and clinical progress that motivates doctors in Lewisham to defend our clinical services, which are highly performing and financially responsible – Lewisham has worked hard to facilitate successful clinical changes such as stroke pathway. Closing our successful A&E and acute services because of financial imperatives derived from a different trust is an entirely different affair, about which we are justly aggrieved. There is a lack of evidence for the underlying assumption that ‘bigger hospitals are better’, and deliver better outcomes for the range of acute and emergency health needs. This has been challenged out by health economist, Professor Alan Maynard.”
To read full letter click here
 Polly Toynbee. Guardian: 25 January 2013.