LEWISHAM Hospital staff are stressing it is “business as usual” after feedback from patients who feared services had closed.

It comes after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt approved plans to downgrade the hospital’s A&E and maternity services earlier this month.

But staff are keen to stress all departments – including emergency, urgent care, and maternity - are still running at “first-class” quality and any changes would not happen “overnight”.

The campaign to save the hospital is still strong with Lewisham Council threatening legal action if Mr Hunt does not reverse his decision by February 22.

Lewisham Hospital director of nursing and operations Claire Champion said: “Since Jeremy Hunt’s announcement, we have had feedback that people think that some of our services have closed, or soon will be.

“However, the Government has been clear that no change will happen overnight and that alternative arrangements would have to be in place first – and this will not happen in the near future.”

She went on to say that when any changes are planned they will be communicated with patients widely.

GP at Oakview Family Practice and Chair of Lewisham’s Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Helen Tattersfield added: “Local GPs are keen to spread the word that Lewisham Hospital is very much ‘open for business’, and provides first-class treatment.

"We hope that local people will continue to support their local hospital by choosing Lewisham Hospital when GPs refer them for treatment – showing the pride in local NHS services which has been so apparent in recent weeks.”

To donate to the council's Legal Challenge Fund against Lewisham Hospital cuts visit lewisham.gov.uk/legalchallengefund