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Petition & fightback 2015


Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group has written to Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust this week giving a very important commitment to the longer term continuation of Lewisham Hospital’s A&E department.  This has been done with the full support of OHSEL (Our Healthier South East London – made up of the six CCG Commissioning Strategy Team) and NHS England. 
The letter states. “[Lewisham CCG confirms] that commissioners expect to need all of south east London’s existing A&E departments, including at Lewisham Hospital. For the avoidance of doubt, we expect the Lewisham A&E Department to remain as an emergency care facility operating 24 hours a day.”

This is excellent news for the trust, for the 6000 staff and for our Save Lewisham Hospital campaign which has united our local community over the last three years to defend our NHS services. The campaign had feared that the pressure from NHS England on the six CCGs to make £1.1billion cost efficiencies annually could jeopardise services at the hospital – including the A&E which we fought so hard to save. Read more
Dr Louise Irvine, local GP and Chair of the SLH campaign says:
“We are delighted with this firm commitment to Lewisham A&E from the commissioners. We want Lewisham Hospital to continue to successfully provide vital services to our community. This statement will really help the trust continue to retain and recruit the best healthcare staff which is excellent news. We are pleased that the commissioners clearly understand the importance of thriving District General Hospitals like Lewisham.”
 The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign has met with representatives from OHSEL, launched a successful petition to highlight this consultation and consistently worked to keep the public aware of developments within community and hospital healthcare. The campaign will remain very active and on alert to make sure that the commissioners’ expectations for South East London’s A&E departments happen.
“We are extremely happy about this week’s statement because it clarifies the importance of local A&E departments at a time when our population is increasing. This is really great news for Lewisham but there are still some very serious threats ahead to the NHS both locally and nationally from this current government.” says Dr Tony O’Sullivan, Consultant Paediatrician at Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust and a Save Lewisham Hospital campaigner.
The future threats are severe: unrealistic NHS and social care budget cuts and targets, crippling PFI debts and unfair changes to NHS staff contracts – highlighted most recently by Jeremy 
Hunt’s attack on the hours and pay for junior doctors. 
“The SLH campaign will carry on actively drawing attention to the problems that our NHS faces from a government with ongoing contempt for patients, doctors and nurses. As a community campaign we have direct experience in Lewisham of Jeremy Hunt’s unacceptable attitude to NHS issues and staff. We send a huge message of support to junior doctors around the country and hope he quickly alters his current misguided and damaging approach.
Vicky Penner, Save Lewisham Hospital campaign
Today’s public statement committing to the future of full emergency departments at both Lewisham Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich is a very positive step forward and the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign will continue to work hard lobbying and publicising the key NHS issues ahead.
For further information, please contact  Vicky Penner, Save Lewisham Hospital campaign 07770 941337 / 020 8852 7673



We  launched the petition because we were on to high alert. We collected 3000 signatures oniine and nearly 200o on paper.
We feared plans were being made, once again, to propose closing Lewisham Hospital and selling-off its site.

In the latest South East London healthcare strategy document we noted that it used arguments for reconfiguring NHS services in south east London that were very similar to those used by the Trust Special Administrator- who in 2012 proposed closing essential services at Lewisham Hospital: A&E, maternity, intensive care, medical, surgical and children’s wards.

We launched our petition to demand that we need  OUR hospital, fully functioning, at the heart of our 300,000 strong community.

Dr Louise Irvine, chair of the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign stated:

‘It is all very uncertain in terms of what is being proposed. The strategy (the South East London 5 CCG strategy) does not explicitly talk in terms of closing Lewisham Hospital. It does use language and ideas like those used by the Trust Special Administrator (TSA) and before that in “A Picture of Health”. For example, there are references to more care in the community rather than it being provided in hospital. We are not against better care in the community and it would be great to keep people out of hospital but it’s important to recognise that there is no evidence that community-based care can replace hospital services to any significant degree. They have not come up with any new or convincing arguments that would justify closing Lewisham Hospital. Indeed we think it’s unsafe to close a major hospital when people desperately need it. There is considerable population growth in the area which hasn’t been taken into account and they don’t have the space at Kings College Hospital to take on the extra patients. However the worrying thing for us is that London Health Chiefs have regularly referred to the failure to close Lewisham as ‘unfinished business’. Both previous attempts were defeated by strong local campaigns. Now we need to be wary. This is a warning shot. We are watching what’s happening and the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign is ready to fight again to defend our hospital and maternity services because, despite our victory, we have always been aware that further closure threats are a real possibility.’

What the local press has said






2 thoughts on “Petition & fightback 2015

  1. Josie Foster says:

    Our excellent Lewisham Hospital must be protected. However, in turn it must tackle waste within its own organization wherever possible and patients must be encouraged to value medicine as an expensive product which the tax payer is paying for. Nothing is free.

  2. Dr. Dorothy Garvie says:

    It must not close. As a local resident i have no confidence in the other hospitals in our area as they are now, let alone with an increased population.


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