THE battle to save Lewisham Hospital’s threatened services will reach the High Court this week as Justice for Lewisham Week kicks off.

Two judicial reviews attacking Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s "unlawful" decision to downgrade Lewisham Hospital’s maternity and A&E facilities are running side-by-side at the Royal Courts of Justice from July 2 until July 4.

Lewisham Council's case claims the Health Secretary's powers over debt-ridden South London Healthcare Trust did not extend to Lewisham, while Save Lewisham Hospital's campaign says the decision did not satisfy Mr Hunt's four tests for any hospital reconfiguration.

The High Court action comes after a Lewisham People's Commision mock hearing held at a packed Catford Broadway Theatre on Saturday (June 29) where the community heard from a panel of medical experts, chaired by top barrister Michael Mansfield.

Save Lewisham Hospital campaign chair Dr Louise Irvine said: "It was a fantastic day and people felt very moved by it.

"It was a great chance to hear what really mattered to them."

The commission - which medical ethics expert Baroness Mary Warnock and Lewisham novelist Blake Morrison attended - was held after many members of the community felt their opinions about the proposals had not been listened to.

In summing up the commission, Mr Mansfield - renowned for his work with Stephen Lawrence's case - said a major concern highlighted was the "absence of democracy".