The future of Lewisham's A&E department and maternity unit could be decided today.
The health secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce whether to cut back the services in order to divert funds to neighbouring South London Healthcare Trust, which has a defecit of around 150 million pounds.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said plans to close the A&E department at Lewisham Hospital were "taking the NHS into new ground" and were "dangerous" given the pressure on A&E services.
"When we were in Government we did close some A&Es because sometimes it makes sense to do that, you can save more lives by centralising services on one particular site, every locality cannot necessarily sustain an A&E," he said.
"However what is different about Lewisham is that this A&E is being closed purely on cost grounds.
"To solve financial problems in one trust, the Government are saying they are going to take away the successful A&E department of another. That is taking the NHS into completely new ground.
"I think it is dangerous to do that, given the pressure that we seeing on A&E in London and right across the country."
Last-ditch protest to save Lewisham's A&E department
Campaigners are holding a final demonstration at the Department of Health today over plans to close Lewisham Hospital's A&E department. Hundreds are expected to protest over the cuts which would also affect the matertiny unit.
A petition of around 40 thousand signatures will be handed to health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Shutting A&E would be act of "almost criminal stupidity"
Shutting a hospital's newly revamped A&Edepartment would be an act of "almost criminal stupidity" a Labour peer said today. At question time in the House of Lords, he said: "The proposal is to close the excellent and much admired accident and emergency hospital at Lewisham...
...and to downgrade its maternity services, notbecause of anything wrong with them but because a Government-appointedadministrator has said that that should be done in order to help theneighbouring National Health Service Trust that has run up £130 million worthof debt."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will decide by Friday whether Lewisham Hospital in south-east London should replace its emergency department with an "urgent care" ward and turn its maternity services into a midwife-led unit.
Latest police figures estimate that more than 20,000 marched today to protest against the closure of the Accident and Emergency unit and the downgrading of the maternity unit at Lewisham Hospital. Liz Wickham was there too.