A packed meeting at Lewisham Hospital last night (April 16) showed the continued determination to protect the area’s health services from "future threats".

Around 150 people attended Save Lewisham Hospital’s (SLH) campaign’s general meeting, after its joint legal victory against Jeremy Hunt ‘s decision to downgrade A&E and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital.

News Shopper: Dr Louise Irvine

Dr Louise Irvine was re-elected as the campaign’s chair at the meeting in the Lessof Auditorium on April 16, along with a steering group of 25 patients, doctors, nurses, and campaigners.

The campaign’s continued strength comes after Mr Hunt changed the law following his landmark legal loss -  new Clause 119 in the Care Bill now allows him to downgrade hospitals next to cash-strapped trusts.

Dr Louise Irvine said: "I'm thrilled that we had such a huge turnout last night, six months after our Court of Appeal win.

"It shows the determination of people within Lewisham to continue supporting us against future threats to our NHS health services."

Director of Children's Services at Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust Dr Tony O'Sullivan added: "Many of us within the SLH campaign feel that we have a responsibility to share our knowledge with other NHS campaigns around the country.

"We can definitely help and learn from each other over the difficult times to come.

"It was a fantastic atmosphere last night and has been an amazing 18 months.

"We won two historic battles last year but the fight goes on to protect our NHS services."

The candidate for SLH chair from People Before Profit (PBP), who have controversially registered their political name as People Before Profit - Save Lewisham Hospital despite not being backed by the SLH campaign, pulled out before the meeting.

In his chair manifesto, PBP’s John Hamilton wrote: "Although Louise has attained saintly status in some quarters she has compromised the independence of the campaign by pandering to Labour apologists for PFI."

He added: "Sectarianism will be our undoing."

To find out more about Save Lewisham Hospital's campaign visit savelewishamhospital.com