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The People’s Commission



DVD Box set of Lewisham People’s Commission and Published report
DVD covercoverpicsmallb

The report was published online on 28 November 2013
Click here to access full online report and archive witness resources























Broadway Theatre Catford, Saturday 29th June
See some fantastic photos from the People’s Commssion

“The first concern is the absence of democracy. The democratic element as you’ve heard today was removed effectively…The second point …is that a substantial proportion of those deciding this in our so-called democratic forums are part of the very vested interests taking a profit. Another concern … is that when a reasoned argument was put to the TSA on various occasions we had more than one witness saying effectively they were dismissed.”

Click to jump to the footage:

Michael Mansfield’s summing up

Patient witnesses Brian Lymbery, Sally and Deion Stephenson, Toyin Adeyinka,
Dr Chidi Ejimofo, A&E Consultant & Lord David Owen

Dr Tony O’Sullivan, Director Children’s Services

Dr Helen Tattersfield, GP & Chair of Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Louise Irvine, GP & Chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign

Dr Ruth Cochrane, Consultant obstetrician


Click here to see live-streamed footage from the day (thanks to Obi from the Occupy Movement)

More about the Commission

The Save Lewisham Hospital campaign held a Lewisham People’s Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Michael Mansfield QC, into government plans to downgrade Lewisham Hospital

The People’s Commission kicked off Justice for Lewisham Week 29 June – 5 July, which included:

  • The People’s Commission was on Saturday 29 June
  • Judicial Reviews led by Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign and Lewisham Council  in the High Court 2 -4 July

A panel chaired by barrister Michael Mansfield QC including Baroness Warnock and award-winning Lewisham author and journalist Blake Morrison,heard evidence that has been denied by Special Administrator Kershaw and Minister of State for Health Jeremy Hunt. Lord David Owen and Mayor Sir Steve Bullock addressed the Commission.

Allyson Pollock’s report now published click here to download
Allyson Pollock’s report Blaming the victims:the trust special administrator’s plans for southeast London presented at the Lewisham People’s Commission and published today shows how the devastating effect of  PFI debts in the South London Health Trust are behind government plans to downgrade and close Lewisham Hospital

Michael Mansfield statement:
“I together with the other panel judges are honoured to perform a much needed role for the people of Lewisham and all those beyond who depend upon the services of the NHS. Government policy over the last two decades has contributed to a major crisis in which viable and successful health resources are threatened with closure. The voice of the people has been marginalised in this process.

 It is important therefore to facilitate a hearing in which the reasons for the present predicament are examined and citizens have an opportunity to make their views heard. When all else fails civil society must intervene. My task will be to ensure that the rules of natural justice and fairness are applied so far as possible and that the hearing is as close to the norms of a public inquiry as can be achieved.”

The Truth
The People’s Commission heard evidence about  the downgrading of Lewisham Hospital and what it will mean for our community.Witnesses were taken through their evidence by a team of barristers. Evidence from the following was presented to the panel:

  • Professor Colin Leys 
  • Professor Allyson Pollock 
  • Leading GPs, hospital clinicians and nurses
  • Patients and patient representatives
  • Lewisham Council
  • Church and community representatives

Terms of Reference of the Inquiry – to download these click here


17 thoughts on “The People’s Commission

  1. Angela Bell says:

    Please keep me updated on all of this. I would like to attend I hae lived in this Borough all my life. Many thanks to all of you.

    • admin says:

      Hi Angela – are you subscribed to our newsletter? It’s very easy = just click on the box on the right of any web page. Apologies if you’re already signed up. If you aren’t signed up and would like to see the newsletter that’s just gone out you can go to


      Olivia for SLHC

    • admin says:

      Also Angela – we now have a date for the Commission – 29th June so please make a note. It will be at the Catford Theatre, all day.We are just beginning to firm up arrangements. Please keep your eye on this page.


  2. Maryam Tawakoli says:

    we are thinking of writing a persuasive letter with year 2 of a local school arguing that the hospital should be rescued and not downgraded.

    Who would you think should we address the letter to? Would you be interested in displaying some letters on this website?

    Would you even like to visit our class and explain why the hospital is to be saved?



    • admin says:

      We would love to receive some letters from you. Please could you email them to

      Please could you write them to Dear Doctor Louise Irvine – she is chair of our campaign. She is in favour of keeping the hospital open – but you could write and tell us why YOU think it should be kept open.

      Thanks very much – we will try to publish the letters/emails on the website.

      Olivia for the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign

  3. Jim Watson & Elizabeth Rylance-Watson says:

    Please register us.

    • admin says:

      I have done, thanks, your tickets will be sent pretty soon.

      Olivia for SLHC

  4. Sylvia October says:

    I am a local resident and outpatient for breast cancer at my local excellent hospital. I want to continue to support it to be so and not be privatised.

    • admin says:

      That is our aim Sylvia -and great to have your support and our very good wishes to you.
      Olivia for DLHC

  5. Josephine Dewar says:

    I would like to ask those who are deciding to downgrade Lewisham Hospital and make the changes they propose:
    What health care do you have? Is it private or do you ever use the NHS?
    What would you do if you could not afford private health care?
    Have you any idea of the effects that your changes will make to the “ordinary people” of Lewisham?
    Do you agree with the statement made by Jeremy Hunt that money is more importanmt than A&E?
    Finally, Do you ever really listen to real people or do you live in a world divorced from the people you should be serving?

  6. Adam Clifford says:

    Any chance of a podcast?Sounds like it could be very interesting and informative.

    • admin says:

      it will be livestreamed – details will appear on this page on or before the day!
      Olivia for SLHC

  7. Pingback: Save Lewisham Hospital: Please Get Involved in “Justice for Lewisham Week,” June 29 to July 5, 2013 | Andy Worthington

  8. Davinia Darch says:

    I am unable to make the meeting as I work shifts. I would like to say, Lewisham Hospital provided support for my mother when she was terminally ill. They provided excellent care for a friend who had Breast cancer, they looked after me after I had a seizure in the A and E department and I feel if I had not been taken to Lewisham there may have been far more serious consequences. I have lived on Lewisham borough for nearly 15 years and cannot imagine a downgraded hospital with reduced services and no A and E.

    As a civil servant with many years experience of management, I do not understand how or why the residents of Lewisham and staff at the hospital should suffer for the catastrophic mismanagement of the Princess Royal. It appears obvious to all except Ms Kershaw and Jeremy Hunt that people will die. All that’s left to say to the decision makers if it was your mother or child that needed emergency treatment would you be happy for them to travel and extra five miles?.You cannot measure the cost of a life, but you can help to prevent unnecessary deaths.

    • admin says:

      Hi – if you are near a computer we are live streaming the event – go to the People’s Commission page.

  9. Violet Brett says:

    Saturday I turned on my computer and wanted to see and hear the enquiry but the sound was so bad that I could not, I had to give up. I was disappointed. Watching future bulletins with high hopes of a result. It is dangerous to downgrade Lewisham’s A&E but what do the politicians care more people will die on the way to hospital if they do and the Queen Elizabeth will be unable to cope. I have had cause to be grateful to Lewisham hospital for the operations that I have had there and may it carry on saving peoples lives.

    • admin says:

      Sorry about that – conditions in the hall made it difficult. Please go the People’s Commission page and catch up on some of the pictures and video.


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