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

5 minutes ago
The spectacular fireworks on the South Bank have always been free - until now (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images for Visit London)

For years, London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have been the envy of the country - and free. But now Boris Johnson’s office have announced that this year, it will cost £10 to see the fantastic show from the heart of the action on the South Bank.

Read more
King's Cross underground station was shut after 'loose concrete' was found in the roof this morning (Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire)

Commuters were hit with massive disruption to the Tube network this morning after King’s Cross was evacuated due to ‘loose concrete in the roof’.

Read more
08:00
The 50-year-old man was attacked in Kimberley Road, Kilburn (Picture: Google Streetview)

A have-a-go hero who confronted a gang robbing another man found himself beaten and mugged by the group in Kilburn in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Read more

TOP Stories

5 minutes ago
The spectacular fireworks on the South Bank have always been free - until now (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images for Visit London)

For years, London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have been the envy of the country - and free. But now Boris Johnson’s office have announced that this year, it will cost £10 to see the fantastic show from the heart of the action on the South Bank.

King's Cross underground station was shut after 'loose concrete' was found in the roof this morning (Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire)

Commuters were hit with massive disruption to the Tube network this morning after King’s Cross was evacuated due to ‘loose concrete in the roof’.

08:00
The 50-year-old man was attacked in Kimberley Road, Kilburn (Picture: Google Streetview)

A have-a-go hero who confronted a gang robbing another man found himself beaten and mugged by the group in Kilburn in the early hours of Sunday morning.

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

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.

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

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more
Diego Costa of Chelsea exchanges words with Cesc Fabregas (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Chelsea have made several personnel changes over the course of the summer as they look to mount a squad that can challenge for the title.

Read more