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Hundreds pack meetings on Lewisham Hospital and future of health service
HUNDREDS of people packed into meetings across the area this week as the campaign to save Lewisham A&E intensified.
A full house at Catford Broadway theatre last night debated the South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT) administrator's report which would see Lewisham Hospital's A&E and maternity services downgraded with extra pressure put on Woolwich's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Rita Carter from the Keep Our NHS Public group said afterwards: "This just shows the determination of all the people, and we'll do whatever is necessary to stop these cuts going through.
"We all agreed we have to be united and we have to put pressure on Parliament."
The group is now calling for hospital staff from all the affected sites in south east London to join the campaign.
At a Lewisham Council meeting on the same night, the Labour and Lib Dem groups both spoke out against the plans, agreeing motions to campaign with residents and calling on the government to deal with the SLHT's debts.
Councillor Alan Hall told the meeting: "In securing cross party support Lewisham Council is sending a very clear and strong message – this report is clinically dangerous and financially flawed."
In Eltham, people needed to be turned away on November 26 with an audience of more than 200 filling St Mary's Community Centre in Eltham for a meeting organised by Greenwich Council.
A further 100 arrived for an event at nearby Lionel Road Community Hall two days later, where Greenwich MPs issued warnings over the recommendations and administrator Matthew Kershaw faced questioning.
An online petition has so far attracted more than 20,600 signatures while an estimated 15,000 joined last weekend's protest march through Lewisham.
The consultation ends on December 13. Visit tsa.nhs.uk to have your say.
To sign the petition, visit ipetitions.com/petition/lewisham-hospital