Lewisham Hospital protest sees 25,000 people march against A&E and maternity closure

First published in Bexley
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

MORE than 25,000 people from across the country took to the streets yesterday (January 26) to protest against the part closure of Lewisham Hospital.

They marched against Government proposals to close emergency and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital – a clinically high performing and financially solvent trust – due to problems at the neighbouring South London Healthcare NHS Trust.

Dr Helen Tattersfield, GP and chairwoman of Lewisham’s Clinical Commissioning Group, says the Save Lewisham Hospital group had been overwhelmed by the support from people around the UK who came to the march.

She said: “It just highlights that this a national issue.

"This is the first time the Government has put in place its ‘failure regime’ for an NHS Trust –South London Healthcare – and the proposed solution is to destroy services at a separate neighbouring Trust which is high performing and financially solvent.

"The ‘failure regime’ is set to be used many more times across the UK, so if the Government can close down Lewisham Hospital then no successful hospital in the country is safe.”

Radio presenter Nick Ferrari has spoken on air about how Lewisham Hospital saved his son’s life, and spoke at the event.

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He said: “Lewisham A&E has saved countless lives.

"The maternity unit has brought thousands of lives into this world.

"Any closure would be like an act of criminal vandalism.”


Click here to see pictures from the Save Lewisham Hospital protest


Jeremy Hunt is due to make his decision on the proposals to close Lewisham’s A&E and to close full maternity services by Friday (February 1).

Save Lewisham Hospital campaign chairwoman and GP Dr Louise Irvine added: “There is agreement from GPs across South East London that these plans are not safe.

"Mid Staff shows the dangers of putting finances before patient safety, and this is in danger of happening here.

“Ironically, the plans do not even make sense financially, as noted in the press.

"Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust is a successful organisation and wants to work with GPs, local people and patients to make the savings needed without destroying vital services, but the Government 'special administrator’ has refused to listen.”

Comments (3)

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8:27am Mon 28 Jan 13

Margaret Smith says...

Whilst it was a fantastic march and i was proud to see so many People Before Profit banners and the Song sheets they gave out were fantastic, am i alone in being Angry that the Labour Party who caused this mess due to there PFI policy are seeking to win re-election on the Hospital Campaign. We have 3 Labour MPs and a Labour Mayor as well as a Labour Council and Yet none have apologised for PFI, none have signed the all party early day motion calling for an end to PFI deals and the Local Party has failed to back a party motion surgested by People Before Profit to back the Hospital, The Labour party has also ignored the request by PBP to state publicly that if they win aS EXPECTED IN 2015 or were in Goverment in 2015 or today, they woul;d reject the Kershaw proposals. Clearly Labour is only supporting the Hospital to gain votes with no commitment top save our Hospital . i hope i am not alone in seeing the 2 sides of Labour Lewisham. best Blog on all things lewisham is Lewishamcampaignerbl
ogspot.
Whilst it was a fantastic march and i was proud to see so many People Before Profit banners and the Song sheets they gave out were fantastic, am i alone in being Angry that the Labour Party who caused this mess due to there PFI policy are seeking to win re-election on the Hospital Campaign. We have 3 Labour MPs and a Labour Mayor as well as a Labour Council and Yet none have apologised for PFI, none have signed the all party early day motion calling for an end to PFI deals and the Local Party has failed to back a party motion surgested by People Before Profit to back the Hospital, The Labour party has also ignored the request by PBP to state publicly that if they win aS EXPECTED IN 2015 or were in Goverment in 2015 or today, they woul;d reject the Kershaw proposals. Clearly Labour is only supporting the Hospital to gain votes with no commitment top save our Hospital . i hope i am not alone in seeing the 2 sides of Labour Lewisham. best Blog on all things lewisham is Lewishamcampaignerbl ogspot. Margaret Smith
  • Score: 0

10:24am Tue 29 Jan 13

goldenbroomboy says...

Margaret you are not alone, Onay Kasab gets quoted here sometimes, and he is a Millie supporter too (and no I do not mean Millwall FC).
Margaret you are not alone, Onay Kasab gets quoted here sometimes, and he is a Millie supporter too (and no I do not mean Millwall FC). goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 0

11:48pm Wed 30 Jan 13

londonlive says...

Margaret Smith wrote:
Whilst it was a fantastic march and i was proud to see so many People Before Profit banners and the Song sheets they gave out were fantastic, am i alone in being Angry that the Labour Party who caused this mess due to there PFI policy are seeking to win re-election on the Hospital Campaign. We have 3 Labour MPs and a Labour Mayor as well as a Labour Council and Yet none have apologised for PFI, none have signed the all party early day motion calling for an end to PFI deals and the Local Party has failed to back a party motion surgested by People Before Profit to back the Hospital, The Labour party has also ignored the request by PBP to state publicly that if they win aS EXPECTED IN 2015 or were in Goverment in 2015 or today, they woul;d reject the Kershaw proposals. Clearly Labour is only supporting the Hospital to gain votes with no commitment top save our Hospital . i hope i am not alone in seeing the 2 sides of Labour Lewisham. best Blog on all things lewisham is Lewishamcampaignerbl

ogspot.
Excellent post and totally right. PFI *wasnt* a Labour Party policy, but was one (of a number of policies) ridiculously and stupidly carried on by Blair when he got elected.

Labour now need to make a simple statement: will they repeal decisions like this in 2015, will they publicly abandon PFI, and more importantly, will they bring privatised services back into public ownership?

The follow on question is, if they aren't going to...

.... Who is telling them NOT to?
[quote][p][bold]Margaret Smith[/bold] wrote: Whilst it was a fantastic march and i was proud to see so many People Before Profit banners and the Song sheets they gave out were fantastic, am i alone in being Angry that the Labour Party who caused this mess due to there PFI policy are seeking to win re-election on the Hospital Campaign. We have 3 Labour MPs and a Labour Mayor as well as a Labour Council and Yet none have apologised for PFI, none have signed the all party early day motion calling for an end to PFI deals and the Local Party has failed to back a party motion surgested by People Before Profit to back the Hospital, The Labour party has also ignored the request by PBP to state publicly that if they win aS EXPECTED IN 2015 or were in Goverment in 2015 or today, they woul;d reject the Kershaw proposals. Clearly Labour is only supporting the Hospital to gain votes with no commitment top save our Hospital . i hope i am not alone in seeing the 2 sides of Labour Lewisham. best Blog on all things lewisham is Lewishamcampaignerbl ogspot.[/p][/quote]Excellent post and totally right. PFI *wasnt* a Labour Party policy, but was one (of a number of policies) ridiculously and stupidly carried on by Blair when he got elected. Labour now need to make a simple statement: will they repeal decisions like this in 2015, will they publicly abandon PFI, and more importantly, will they bring privatised services back into public ownership? The follow on question is, if they aren't going to... .... Who is telling them NOT to? londonlive
  • Score: 0

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