Bromley Council fails to condemn decision to downgrade Lewisham Hospital

BROMLEY Council has rejected a motion 'deploring' the decision of the Health Secretary to downgrade Lewisham Hospital.

Following proposals by the South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT) administrator Matthew Kershaw, Jeremy Hunt announced last month that the hospital's A&E and maternity services would be downgraded.

And last Wednesday (February 27), during a meeting of full council, Labour Councillor John Getgood said: "We are asking this evening for this council to show its support for Lewisham Council, to show its support for local clinicians and to show its support for Bromley people who are protesting against this totally misguided decision."

He added: "Lewisham Council is tonight confirming its decision to seek a judicial review of Jeremy Hunt's decision.

"There are serious legal doubts over whether Mr Hunt had the powers to act in the way he has.

"This is Bromley’s opportunity to show it too supports a rethink."

However the motion was rejected by the Conservative-led council, with only the three Labour councillors, four Liberal Democrats and one Conservative councillor voting in favour.

Councillor Graham Arthur, chairman of the health and wellbeing board, said: "We have broadly welcomed the approach adopted by the Secretary of State on the future of health care arrangements across South London, recognising change is necessary to move to a health care system that is financially stable and provides health care provision to meet the expectations and needs of our residents.

"However, we are concerned about the impact of change particularly on the ambulance service and we have written to the Secretary of State to make strong representation that this is given sufficient and satisfactory attention."

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