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 from SNAP.PA

Bulu Mata is an orphaned baby orangutan who’s just moved to his new home in Dorset.

Read more

People are paying tribute after the rock and blues legend Joe Cocker has passed away.

Read more

After a bin lorry lost control in the heart of Glasgow today, Police Scotland have confirmed six people have died.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

People are paying tribute after the rock and blues legend Joe Cocker has passed away.

After a bin lorry lost control in the heart of Glasgow today, Police Scotland have confirmed six people have died.

‘Fromage’ kicks immigrants off the White Cliffs of Dover in the Ukik phone app.

The world seems to agree: no matter how tasteless this new film, censoring freedom of speech with cyber threats is probably worse.

TOP Stories

16:21
Pensioner Geoffrey Lederman ploughed into mother Desreen Brooks at 54mph(Google Street View)

An 85-year-old from Maida Vale who ploughed his car into a mother at 54mph, killing her in front of her husband and toddler has been jailed for 18 months.

15:01
Jason Oparaocha has been jailed for nine months

A Harlesden man who attacked two city workers when one of them tried to chat up his friend will spend Christmas in jail.

Officers would like to speak to this man (Pic credit: Brent Police)

Police have released the image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a pub fight in Neasden which has left a peacemaker in a coma.

London Bloggers

Around 25 per cent of the population self-identity as having no religion yet still enjoy the fun of Christmas (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

It’s Christmas time. We know this by the light-adorned streets, the mobility hazard posed by boxes of Quality Street, Roses and Celebrations in every supermarket’s entrance and, of course, the incessant radio-plays of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.