Lewisham Hospital’s A&E services downgraded, maternity axed

11:57 31 January 2013

Protesters took part in a march on Saturday past Lewisham Hospital. Picture: Simon Way/Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust/PA Wire

Protesters took part in a march on Saturday past Lewisham Hospital. Picture: Simon Way/Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust/PA Wire

Lewisham Hospital’s A&E services will be downgraded, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today.

Campaigners hope their protest had an effect on Mr Hunt's decision: John Stillwell/PA WireCampaigners hope their protest had an effect on Mr Hunt's decision: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The department will be cut by 25 per cent but the government has stopped short of implementing original recommendations that it be scrapped entirely.

However, Mr Hunt upheld the proposal, by special administrator Matthew Kershaw, that Lewisham’s maternity services are also downgraded. They will be cut to one tenth of their current capacity.

The recommendations sparked anger and mass protest, culminating in a march and demonstration outside Lewisham Hospital on Saturday.

They were opposed by patients, south London MPs, Lewisham Council, and consultants and clinicians at the hospital itself.

Speaking in the Commons today, Mr Hunt confirmed the proposals to dissolve financially stricken South London Heathcare NHS Trust, which each of its hospitals taken over by a neighbouring trust.

He said he had taken the advice of Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, to consider if they would improve patient care.

Patients with much more serious conditions or higher risk pregnancies will be taken to Kings, Queen Elizabeth, Bromley or St Thomas’ because they are more likely to have a better result.

Mr Hunt quoted figures stating that south east London patients will only have to spend on average, an extra two minutes by ambulance to access these services.

He said: “The longstanding problems at South London Healthcare NHS Trust must not be allowed to compromise patient care in the future.

“Hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent on paying for debt rather than improving patient care for the local community in south east London.

“What is in the clinical interests of patients in south east London has been at the heart of my decision making process, and as a result I have followed clinical advice to keep open the A&E in Lewisham.

“However, some changes need to be made so that money is spent on patient care rather than servicing historic debt. The decisions I have taken today will ensure that and that patients in South East London will be able to rely on the NHS for years to come.”

Related articles

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The poppy appeal launch is suitably special during the centenary year of the First World War.

Read more

The gunman was named as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, with government sources saying he was a recent convert to Islam.

Read more

Sketches representing “a key moment in the history of British television comedy” have been discovered in the collection of the late Sir David Frost.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

The poppy appeal launch is suitably special during the centenary year of the First World War.

The gunman was named as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, with government sources saying he was a recent convert to Islam.

The eventual winner triumphed over Yolo, hipster and photobomb.

One male suspect has also died, with Parliament sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers hailed for helping to stop the attacker reaching MPs.

TOP Stories

18 minutes ago
The attacks allegedly took place on this busy shopping street [Photograph from Google StreetView]

It is believed that two men were stabbed on Uxbridge Road at around 5.50pm this morning.

A picture of Harry Maurice Roberts issued by Scotland Yard in 1966.  (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Notorious police killer Harry Roberts is to be released from prison after serving more than 45 years of a life sentence.

This is the second night in a row that a screening of Gone Girl has gone wrong in the capital (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

The audience at the 8.40pm showing of Gone Girl were evacuated from the Barbican last night.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.