NEWS Shopper is supporting a community left outraged at cost-cutting plans to close Lewisham’s A&E and maternity services.

The proposal to axe the facilities was announced last week by South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT) administrator Matthew Kershaw, who was appointed after the cash-strapped trust slid into administration in July.

Not only would Lewisham patients be stripped of their local emergency care but they are likely to be transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s A&E - further burdening the busy Woolwich hospital.

Just a day after the bomb-shell, nearly 1,000 people had signed an online petition against the closures and is currently 7,447-strong.

Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander spearheaded the petition. She told News Shopper: "The fact more than 5,800 people have already signed it demonstrates the strength of opposition there is locally.

"I think the community has to be united in its opposition to this proposal and make it very clear to the special administrator that we don’t want this to happen.

"We have got a real fight on our hands and I do think a petition as the clearest expression of community concern can only help us to save a full A&E and maternity services."

Protesters against the draft plans have been vocal with singer Boy George - who grew up in Eltham - tweeting: "Lewisham Hospital A&E to shut? "Look at cutting the wages at the top in the NHS and stop destroying a wonderful institution!"

Other supporters on the online petition have branded the plan "despicable" and "sheer lunacy", while signatory Edith Speller wrote: "Punishing the residents of Lewisham for problems in other NHS trusts is crazy."

To add your voice to those concerned, you can sign the petition at and leaflet your street with News Shopper's poster.

Campaigners from Keep Our NHS Public have organised a meeting this Thursday (November 8) at Lessoff Auditorium, Lewisham Hospital from 6pm with speakers including Mayor of Lewisham Steve Bullock and Heidi Alexander.

The online consultation over the future of SLHT went live last Friday (November 2) and people have until midnight on December 13 to put forward their views at The final report will be delivered to government on January 7.