PETITIONS containing more than 50,000 signatures against the closure of Lewisham Hospital A&E and maternity services have been handed to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today.

GPs, campaigners, doctors and patients joined forces with MPs to hand over the documents at Whitehall.

Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander said: "This is our last appeal to Jeremy Hunt to listen. He needs to listen to the people of Lewisham who want to keep vital services at their hospital and he needs to listen to Lewisham GPs and hospitals doctors who know more about the NHS in South East London than anyone else.

"Lewisham’s A&E and maternity department must stay. It is just plain wrong to be closing much-needed, well-run services at one hospital to sort out financial problems elsewhere."

The Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust choir  - which performed at the opening of Lewisham’s £12m new emergency department in last April – performed as petitions were handed in. 

A&E consultant Chidi Ejimofo said: "Only a few months ago I was singing with the choir at the opening of the new £12m emergency department at Lewisham Hospital.

"Today, I am singing to save it, and our maternity services from destruction. The plans to close vital services at Lewisham Hospital are scandalous and will have a terrible impact on the people of Lewisham."
Petitions against the plans have been signed by more than 50,000 members of the public, 408 GPs across London, and by healthcare workers at the hospital.

Mr Hunt will decide on the proposals by Friday (Feb 1). After the announcement, at 6pm, protestors will gather outside the hospital.

Save Lewisham Hospital single released

Local rapper Question has teamed up with members of the hospital choir for a campaign single released on iTunes.

The music video features footage from the weekend's campaign march, where 25,000 people took to the streets.

Click here to download the single.