Lewisham councillors are pushing for publication of ‘secret’ plans for the NHS in south east London, as analysis shows services will face a shortfall of £1billion by 2021 if the funding deficit is not addressed.

Last month councillors in Lewisham called for the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for south east London, which is being drawn up to address the funding gap, to be published in detail.

An investigation crowdfunded by campaign website 38 Degrees shone a spotlight on the financial situation across the country, showing south east London is facing the third biggest deficit by 2021.

The analysis stated: "According to the public plan, by 2021, the health and social care system in south east London is projected to be over £1bn short of the funds it needs to balance its book while maintaining the same level of care for patients."

Councillor Alan Hall, Chair of Lewisham Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee, said they are continuing to push the NHS and its partners to publish the plans in full.

He told News Shopper: “Clearly what that is is a framework for the next few years for the NHS across south east London.

“What Lewisham residents deserve is a full proper consultation in the round of all the proposals as well as any specific service changes.”

Cllr Hall stressed the importance of a consultation open to the public, before the plans become “fete accompli”.

News Shopper:

Councillor Alan Hall (left) is pushing for the plans to be made public.

He added: “It must be remembered that all local authorities across South East London are also facing huge financial pressures in social care provision which does have a serious knock on effect to NHS emergency services.

“It is vital that the public see the full options under consideration to make informed decisions on the future shape of our local NHS and council services."

A spokesperson for Our Healthier South East London, said: "We would need to develop this plan to reduce the gap even if we had limitless funding, because we urgently need to address the clinical and quality challenges facing services across south east London.

"The gap of £1 billion arises if we do nothing. During the period of the STP, our budget will rise from £6 billion to £7 billion across south east London, while our costs are projected to rise to £8 billion.

“This is why commissioners, providers, local authorities and local people have been working for the last two years to develop a plan for high quality, sustainable services - first as part of the Our Healthier South East London strategy and now as the STP.

“Most of our ideas have already been discussed extensively and they have all been published on our website, along with a summary of our STP.”

He added: “No changes to the services people receive will be made without local engagement and, where required, consultation.

“Later this year, we are planning a public consultation on our ideas for elective orthopaedic centres and are already speaking to local people to inform these plans.”