THE Mayor of Lewisham has slammed the “extraordinarily short” public consultation into Lewisham and Woolwich hospitals and called for an extension.

It comes after the 30-day consultation kicked off on November 2 yet the Mayor claims documents were not delivered to libraries and council offices for six days.

He says the delay shortened the time residents could respond to the draft plans – which include the proposed merging of Lewisham and Woolwich trusts and closing Lewisham Hospital’s A&E and maternity unit.

Sir Steve Bullock has written to the NHS Trust Special Administrator Matthew Kershaw saying he has not been able to keep to the “extraordinarily short timetable”.

He said: “The Secretary of State has made clear that this process will be ‘rapid and robust’.

“What is now clear to me from the evidence of our local residents is that you have been unable to keep even to the extraordinarily short timetable to which you were publicly committed.

“I therefore ask, so that we do not attend only to the needs of rapidity at the cost of any sort of robustness, that the process is now immediately extended.

“This would seem the only fair way to proceed that will go some way to reassure people in Lewisham that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.”

The online consultation currently closes midnight on December 13 before it is handed to Parliament on January 7. Visit to have your say.

Protesters against the proposals will form a human chain around Lewisham Hospital on November 24 at 3pm.