South London MPs oppose Lewisham A&E closure proposals

14:14 22 January 2013

Harriet Harman is concerned about the impact on King

Harriet Harman is concerned about the impact on King's College Hospital. File picture: Peter Byrne/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Five South London MPs have penned a letter setting out why they oppose controversial proposals to close Lewisham’s A&E and maternity services.

The recommendation was made by special administrator Matthew Kershaw as part of a solution to fix healthcare services in south east London after the area’s NHS trust racked up debts of £150million. He has proposed the trust, which is separate from Lewisham, is dissolved and restructured.

Labour MPs Harriet Harman, for Camberwell and Peckham, Kate Hoey, for Vauxhall, Streatham’s Chukka Ummuna and Tessa Jowell, who represents Dulwich and West Norwood have joined Bermondsey and Old Southwark’s Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes to oppose the closure.

The politicians, who met with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt last week, believe downsizing Lewisham would have a “major impact” on services at Kings College Hospital in Camberwell.

If the closure goes ahead, they say NHS figures show 54 per cent of patients who would otherwise have used Lewisham A&E will instead travel to Kings. The statistics also show that there will be 3,235 more births at King’s if Lewisham’s maternity services are axed.

“As it is, there is a small but concerning increase in waiting times at King’s A&E,” they wrote in the letter, addressed to Mr Hunt.

“If Lewisham A&E closes it is inconceivable that King’s would be able to maintain what is a much improved service for our constituents.”

“That will place a further pressure on inpatient beds at a time when King’s management have raised with us their concerns about capacity at King’s.”

The 2011/12 figures are sourced from Kings College and Lewisham Hospital NHS trusts.

They added: “(Kings) say they are already looking to take on extra capacity at Princess Royal in Bromley to deal with outpatients and non-emergency admissions.

“For our constituents - many of whom do not own a car - the journey from Camberwell to Princess Royal in Bromley would mean a journey of at least a bus and a train lasting more than one hour and costing £5.50.”

The campaign against the proposed closure has stepped up a notch as Mr Hunt prepares to announce his decision early next month. A group of mothers and babies in prams converged on the Department of Health in a ‘flashmob’ style protest today.

A Department of Health spokesman said they will consider a petition accepted today: “We appreciate that the recommendations for the future of South London Healthcare NHS Trust concern many people from the local community.

“There isn’t an easy solution to the problems. The Secretary of State has received the recommendations from the trust special administrator which he will carefully consider.”

Thousands are expected at demonstration in Lewisham on Saturday, regardless of the weather.

Related articles

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Read more
Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

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.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 17:16
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.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes

Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more