MPs warn 'dangerous' Lewisham Hospital A&E closure would cost £195.2m

MPs warn 'dangerous' Lewisham Hospital A&E closure would cost £195.2m

Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander

Ignored: Thousands have come out against the plans

First published in Lewisham News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

MPs warned the Health Secretary last night that the proposed closure of Lewisham Hospital A&E and maternity services was "dangerous", "ill-conceived" and would cost £195.2m to implement.

Heidi Alexander, Joan Ruddock and Jim Dowd, along with other south London MPS, met with Jeremy Hunt nad trust administrtor for 90 minutes to outline their oppposition to the proposals, over which the Health Secretary has final say.

Ms Alexander said: "I think it's fair to say that there was quite a lot  of concensus across the MPs about the way in which these proposals will have a knock on impact on hospitals across south east London.

"With maternity, thousands of mums will be going to other hospitals and there was quite a bit of scepticism over the financial planning for increasing capacity."

She went on: "Mr Hunt has said that he has sought some fresh legal advice about whether he actually has the powers to take this decision and I think that he's nervous about it.

"I think he's aware of the possibility of a judicial review by Lewisham Council."

Ms Alexander said: "I think the three Lewisham MPs have done all they can possibly do to make the case against these proposals and I don't think Jeremy Hunt will be under any illusion about the concern and anger that exists about them."

In a document submitted to him, the MPs warned that the plans failed the government's four tests on hospital reconfiguration - support from commissioners, strengthened public and patient involvement, a clinical evidence base and improving patient choice.

Two thirds of Lewisham GPs have come out in opposition to the plans, while the three MPs argued the consultation was flawed and "woefully inadequate", with no question on the selling off of around half the hospital's land and buildings.

The document said: "The final report of the Trust Special Administrator (TSA) suggests 50 per cent of Lewisham A&E patients would still be treated at the urgent care centre.

"The draft report suggested it would be 77 per cent. Hospital doctors from Lewisham, based on an analysis of their caseload, suggest this figure is closer to 30 per cent.

"This has an obvious impact on the additional capacity required at neighbouring hospitals to cope with displaced work from Lewisham, and means that the consultation proceeded on an incorrect and flawed basis."

They also highlighted worries over having larger maternity units on fewer sites in south east London. Lewisham, which has a rising birth rate, is set to only have a midwifery-led unit if the proposals go through.

The document concludes: "The proposals to close A&E and maternity services are dangerous and ill-conceived. Destroying a successful hospital by closing vital services is not in the best interests of the people of Lewisham, nor is it financially necessary.

"It would only make a saving of £12.2m (the approximate cost of Lewisham’s recently refurbished emergency department)."

And it points out that, if all other recommendations were followed apart from service reconfiguration, the service would be just £1.7m short of breaking even.

It says: "The TSA service reconfiguration proposals deliver only £19.5m of savings at a cost of £195.2m - a ten year pay-back period.

"An alternative to solve this gap has been proposed. We urge the Secretary of State to reject recommendation 5 and to retain a full admitting A&E and full maternity service at Lewisham Hospital."

Click here to see the MPs' document 

A protest is being held against the proposals on January 26 from 12pm, meeting at Loampit Vale beside Lewisham train station.

Comments (4)

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2:14pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Margaret Smith says...

This is a bit Rich coming from Labour. It is the Labour Party PFI finace deal that has lead to the Hospital facing closure and the area health Authority going Bust.
Ray woolford on the fantastic Community Blog lewishamcampaignerbl
ogspot also reminds voters that the Labour party whilst saying it opposes closure, has failed to Confirm that if they were in Goverment today or in 2015 they would kick out the closure plan. I hope Lewisham Residents can see through Labour and realise that they say one thing, but have no intention of doing anything different, or seeking to admit PFI is an abuse of public funds and ban it as requested on People before Profit website that as number 10 Petition calling for an end to PFI.
Question Time Clearly Showed that Labour is the fault of this mess, and whilst i do not support the Government, Next time round i and my Neighbours will be voting on mass for People Before profit.
This is a bit Rich coming from Labour. It is the Labour Party PFI finace deal that has lead to the Hospital facing closure and the area health Authority going Bust. Ray woolford on the fantastic Community Blog lewishamcampaignerbl ogspot also reminds voters that the Labour party whilst saying it opposes closure, has failed to Confirm that if they were in Goverment today or in 2015 they would kick out the closure plan. I hope Lewisham Residents can see through Labour and realise that they say one thing, but have no intention of doing anything different, or seeking to admit PFI is an abuse of public funds and ban it as requested on People before Profit website that as number 10 Petition calling for an end to PFI. Question Time Clearly Showed that Labour is the fault of this mess, and whilst i do not support the Government, Next time round i and my Neighbours will be voting on mass for People Before profit. Margaret Smith
  • Score: -1

8:50pm Tue 15 Jan 13

ron.1952 says...

It don't matter who you vote in once they get their nose in the trough it's game over.

Ron
It don't matter who you vote in once they get their nose in the trough it's game over. Ron ron.1952
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Wed 16 Jan 13

ksc says...

ron.1952 wrote:
It don't matter who you vote in once they get their nose in the trough it's game over.

Ron
Spot on Ron
[quote][p][bold]ron.1952[/bold] wrote: It don't matter who you vote in once they get their nose in the trough it's game over. Ron[/p][/quote]Spot on Ron ksc
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Sat 26 Jan 13

londonlive says...

Margaret Smith wrote:
This is a bit Rich coming from Labour. It is the Labour Party PFI finace deal that has lead to the Hospital facing closure and the area health Authority going Bust.
Ray woolford on the fantastic Community Blog lewishamcampaignerbl

ogspot also reminds voters that the Labour party whilst saying it opposes closure, has failed to Confirm that if they were in Goverment today or in 2015 they would kick out the closure plan. I hope Lewisham Residents can see through Labour and realise that they say one thing, but have no intention of doing anything different, or seeking to admit PFI is an abuse of public funds and ban it as requested on People before Profit website that as number 10 Petition calling for an end to PFI.
Question Time Clearly Showed that Labour is the fault of this mess, and whilst i do not support the Government, Next time round i and my Neighbours will be voting on mass for People Before profit.
Yes. PFI was a conservative policy which, unfortunately, Labour continued with (one of many issues that Blair left us with). But you have to also counter that with as a result of the coalition the NHS will be gone within the next 5 years.
[quote][p][bold]Margaret Smith[/bold] wrote: This is a bit Rich coming from Labour. It is the Labour Party PFI finace deal that has lead to the Hospital facing closure and the area health Authority going Bust. Ray woolford on the fantastic Community Blog lewishamcampaignerbl ogspot also reminds voters that the Labour party whilst saying it opposes closure, has failed to Confirm that if they were in Goverment today or in 2015 they would kick out the closure plan. I hope Lewisham Residents can see through Labour and realise that they say one thing, but have no intention of doing anything different, or seeking to admit PFI is an abuse of public funds and ban it as requested on People before Profit website that as number 10 Petition calling for an end to PFI. Question Time Clearly Showed that Labour is the fault of this mess, and whilst i do not support the Government, Next time round i and my Neighbours will be voting on mass for People Before profit.[/p][/quote]Yes. PFI was a conservative policy which, unfortunately, Labour continued with (one of many issues that Blair left us with). But you have to also counter that with as a result of the coalition the NHS will be gone within the next 5 years. londonlive
  • Score: 0

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