Tuesday 8th January 2013 – FInal TSA report to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State released
For urgent press enquiries to Save Lewisham Hospital campaign please phone Jos on 07977 090972
Click here to see a range of responses to Kershaw’s final report to Secretary olf State for Health, Jeremy Hunt
The TSA Draft report
The report, as expected, recommends closing the A and E at a successful nhs trust-lewisham -in order to force patients to use the indebted queen elizabeth hospital. It also proposes children’s wards, critical care, complex/emergency surgery and perhaps maternity services be closed by 2015/16, and the hospital’s Victorian buildings be sold off for £17million (only £5million more than the £12million spent on an A&E refurbishment this year).
The administrator process was started because trusts were meant to stand alone financially. Yet the administrator has gone beyond the jurisdiction and suggested a different trust shut its A&E, and set up an Urgent Care Centre. The report suggests 78% of Lewisham’s patients could continue to be treated there. However, this minimises the impact on neighbouring hospitals, which will receive far more patients because paramedics and the public won’t take chances by taking people to the lesser service. An urgent care centre has GPs, nurses, x-ray machines, blood results, but you couldn’t be admitted to hospital from here, and would need to be transferred to another hospital to be assessed again in that case.
Further to this, the administrator suggests the PFI debt be ‘written off’, yet your taxes will still pay over £2billion (10 times the building cost) via the Department of Health. And if private companies take over South London’s services, they won’t have to pay a penny from their profts to PFI, but our taxes will. So although it is a welcome relief for the invidiual trusts, it is still public money going to profiteers. And if the PFI debt was the reason given for appointing an administrator, why conduct such massive a overhaul of the trust, if the largest problem is removed? And whywasn’t the debt addressed by re-negotiating the contracts?
Lewisham’s midwifery led unit, and state of the art birthing centre will be replaced with an obstetric led unit. Or they will lose obstetrics, and become suitable only for low risk labour- despite lewisham having a population with high prevalence of complicated pregnancies. Emergency surgery and inpatient children’s services could go.
The report suggests asset-stripping the NHS in bexley, for the sake of ‘regeneration’. So while services are reduced, the population will increase, when people move into hospital land sold off to private developers.
Services at queen marys, sidcup, and princess royal, farnborough could be sold off. The NHS could be left ‘holding the baby’ in queen elizabeth, woolwich. Although the administrator suggests certain trusts take over services, private companies will be allowed to bid and could win. If straight-forward care is hived off to private profiteers, the NHS will have no chance of keeping surpluses from that profitable care. At the same time, it has to provide the emergency and intensive care that cherry-picking companies won’t touch.
The NHS has £4 billion pounds in cash reserves. The banks weren’t allowed to fail, why should the patients and workers of south london be sacrificed?
This is an ideological assault on the NHS, which lays the ground to concentrate complicated NHS care at woolwich, so that all other sites can have care privatised or buildings sold to developers. And all of this has been caused by unecessary PFI debts that should be re-negotiated.
Lewisham has a population of 250,000 – 50% more than Brighton, and a similar size to Hull. To destroy its hospital, while it is financially stable and running at close-to capacity, is putting business before people’s safety.
Come to our public meeting on 8 november and demonstrate on 24 november. And see the ‘take action’ part of the site to oppose the deadly plan.
It is worth noting that the NHS has £4billion of cash reserves, and the Chancellor has raided £1billion from the NHS budget (see references here). The issue is not that South London’s Healthcare is not currently affordable. The problem is the government refusal to spend money on necessary services attacking the NHS.
Full extent of closures hidden in table on page 69 and 70 here
Planned building sell-off for £17 million on page 41 Appendix K