Organisers say 25,000 marched through Lewisham today to call upon Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to halt plans to close Lewisham Hospital’s solvent A&E, maternity and children’s surgery departments in order to bail out nearby South London Healthcare Trust NHS Trust, which is crippled by PFI debts.
Lewisham ground to a halt as angry residents protested against the potential of being left with one A&E (Woolwich) for the boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley, around 750,000 people.
Special administrator Matthew Kershaw, brought in to advise on the SLHT’s financial problems, says Lewisham residents can go to Kings College Hospital in Camberwell or Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich, distances of around five miles, but protestors say his calculations do not take traffic into account. Kings College Hospital has previously said its A&E department is at capacity.
Jeremy Hunt is due to make the decision by February 1. For more info see http://www.savelewishamhospital.com