Judge urged to overturn ‘unlawful’ changes to Lewisham hospital

14:09 02 July 2013

Campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Activists argue the changes will mean local people would have to travel a long way further to get access to vital services. Picture: Simon Way/PA Wire

Campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice. Activists argue the changes will mean local people would have to travel a long way further to get access to vital services. Picture: Simon Way/PA Wire

A High Court judge has been urged to overturn an ‘unlawful’ decision to reduce services at Lewisham hospital today.

Picture: Simon Way/PA WirePicture: Simon Way/PA Wire

Campaigners packed the courtroom where Mr Justice Silber is being asked to rule on two legal challenges against cuts at the south-east London facility.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs in January that accident and emergency and maternity services at the hospital will be downgraded.

The London Borough of Lewisham and the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign argue the decision to cut some of the hospital’s services was ‘unlawful’ and should be quashed.

Opponents say that if the decision is implemented it would result in ‘substantial’ cuts to the services provided by Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust at the hospital.

The demonstration led by Save Lewisham Hospital last NovemberThe demonstration led by Save Lewisham Hospital last November

Elisabeth Laing QC, for the council, told the judge at this morning’s hearing Lewisham was a ‘very good hospital’ and the range of health services provided there was ‘greatly valued by local people and by the council’.

She said the changes would mean local people would have to travel a long, long way further to get access to vital services.

The proposed changes are part of a wider shake-up of services in the capital after the financial collapse of neighbouring South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which went into administration after it started losing more than £1million a week.

Mr Hunt told MPs the changes would improve patient care in south London, saving up to 100 lives a year.

Mr Justice Silber indicated that because of the importance of the case he would be reserving his judgment at the conclusion of the three-day hearing, and would announce his decision later in a written ruling.

Latest Stories

42 minutes ago
James Dowson is a former BNP Party member and founder of Britain First [Picture: Paul Faith/PA Wire]

The founder of a nationalist group that staged ‘Christian patrols’ on Brick Lane and invaded the East London Mosque has resigned and rejected his past behaviour.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:02
The chair appears to move of its own accord - or perhaps there is a ghostly explanation?

The spooky goings on apparently took place just hours after a psychic medium took to the stage in Romford. Coincidence? Almost certainly...

Read more
Yesterday, 14:28
People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Read more

TOP Stories

42 minutes ago
James Dowson is a former BNP Party member and founder of Britain First [Picture: Paul Faith/PA Wire]

The founder of a nationalist group that staged ‘Christian patrols’ on Brick Lane and invaded the East London Mosque has resigned and rejected his past behaviour.

Yesterday, 18:02
The chair appears to move of its own accord - or perhaps there is a ghostly explanation?

The spooky goings on apparently took place just hours after a psychic medium took to the stage in Romford. Coincidence? Almost certainly...

Yesterday, 14:28
People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

London Bloggers

Thursday, July 24, 2014
London comedians are preparing for Edinburgh (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

During these sultry July afternoons and endless balmy evenings the nervous musings of young comedians in London drift to dreams of triumph on the Edinburgh stage.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
Punchdrunk's The Drowned Man poduction came to an end on Sunday, July 6

If you’ve been wandering around bereft of purpose, a wet-eyed stare fixed on your blank face, then no doubt you too are as gutted as I am that The Drowned Man has finally come to an end.

Thursday, July 24, 2014
(Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

We’ve been called P.I.G.S.

Quizzes

The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more
How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more