BRILLIANT NEWS FOR LEWISHAM! PRESS STATEMENT FROM SAVE LEWISHAM HOSPITAL CAMPAIGN 12TH OCTOBER 2015
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
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.
OUR PETITION (PETITION NOW CLOSED)
SIGN THE PETITION NOW! CLICK HERE
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