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.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London Health news

Polish people are donating blood to say thank you for the opportunities they have  to work and study in the UK (Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Polish people in London are fighting against discrimination by going on strike outside of Parliament - and donating blood to the NHS.

Eating disorder survivor Jae West invited passing Londoners and tourists to draw hearts on her body (Picture: YouTube)

Eating disorder survivor Jae West stood in her underwear at Piccadilly Circus and asked passersby to draw a heart on her body ‘to support self acceptance’.

It might be called Fine Foods but according to health inspectors this store in Harlesden is one of the dirtiest in the country. (Pic credit: Angela Blake)

If you live in Greenwich, Harlesden, Southall or Highgate, you might, because these neighbourhoods all have shops that feature on a ‘shame list’ of England’s dirtiest premises.

£1.5 billion worth of food is wasted in London every year (Picture: Just Eat It/Peg Leg films)

New London app OLIO lets you share surplus food in your kitchen with neighbours and get delicious cupcakes, salads and dishes in return - almost all for free. London24 spoke to founder Tessa Cook about the app and the ideology behind it.

The hearing took place in the Family Division of the High Court (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Three girls aged 12, nine and six have been made the subject of a landmark court order to protect them from being ‘cut’.

Ecstasy is at its highest level of use in 10 years (DEA)

The proportion of young people taking ecstasy has soared to the highest level for more than a decade, official figures have shown.

Lewisham Hospital (Picture: PA Images)

A woman from south-east London broke her elbow, went to A&E in Lewisham and then wrote this heartwarming ‘complaint’ letter to NHS staff about her time in hospital.

The Royal Free's air conditioning may have accidently been pumping out hot air instead of cold

Sick and elderly patients said they suffered “sauna-like” conditions while being treated for life-threatening illnesses at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead after air conditioning units stopped working yesterday.

Cancer survivor Luna Caden, seven, admires the double helix sculptures

Did you know we share 90 per cent of our genes with a mouse? London now has a DNA inspired art trail which features sculptures by Ai WeiWei and Ted Baker and will raise money for a huge medical research centre.

Condoms are one way of protecting yourself from Chlamydia

Hackney has come out on top for having the most young people with Chlamydia according to a report revealing the growing number of sexually-transmitted infections (STI) in London.

You could end up in hospital if your jeans are too tight (Picture: Claude Truong-Ngoc)

First it was simple hipster mockery, then threats of imprisonment from Isis; now the skinny jeans wearer is facing yet more menace - severe nerve damage.

Would you want to eat anything that had been on these shelves?

The Holloway branch of Poundland has been fined over £12,000 after signs of “widespread rodent activity” were found by Council health officers - including on food shelves.

Maida Vale councillor Rita Begum with Ashley Theophane at the protest (Pic credit: Twitter@cllrritab)

A former British boxing champion flew in from Las Vegas and threw his support behind a fight to stop a sports centre from being demolished in Queen’s Park.

Library photograph of a baby [Photograph courtesy of Beth/Wikipedia Commons]

A woman is fighting a legal battle to use her dead daughter’s frozen eggs to become pregnant with her own grandchild - in a situation that would be a world-first.

Pigeons carry diseases like Chiamdiosis, similar to flu, and Psittacosis, similar to pneumonia  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

A paramedic rushed to the aid of what he believed was a collapsed woman in Southall only to find a dying pigeon.

The London to Dubai plane was forced to turn around (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano has hit out at Heathrow Airport security staff after they confiscated breast milk she had pumped for her young baby.

We previously ran an appeal asking the public to report any sightings of Joshua Packman, a young man who was receiving treatment at a mental health unit in Enfield.

Some of the food Chicken Town will offer (Pic: Kickstarter/Chicken Town)

Chicken-loving youngsters in a deprived borough of north London may soon be able to buy healthy fried chicken, if two restaurateurs get the start-up capital they need.

Whitechapel High Street has more unhealthy businesses next door to one another than anywhere else in London (Pic: Getty Images)

A Whitechapel street has won the dubious title of unhealthiest high street in London, according to a public health body.

17:38pm Wharfdale Road looking towards York Way

Angry neighbours complain about traffic chaos

A teenager was stabbed in the bottom near the Emirates, minutes before Arsenal's Champions league game against Monaco

Knife attack - just prior to Champions League game - fifth in borough this month

Abhishek Varma with the bottle of apple juice

Would you drink a bottle of apple juice if you found fungi floating at the top of it?

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena has been found not guilty of carrying out FGM [Photograph by Jonathan Brady/PA Wire]

The first person in Britain to go on trial for female genital mutilation has been found not guilty.

Pauline Cafferkey, a British nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola on her return from Sierra Leone (Handout/PA Wire)

There are grave concerns for the British nurse who is critical with Ebola after her condition deteriorated over the past few days.

Cockroaches behind refrigeration units

Cockroaches, mice droppings, hobs covered in fat and food left to cool next to bags of rubbish are some of the findings that prompted environmental health officers to shut down this filthy Chinese take-away kitchen.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more