Lewisham Hospital demo

Campaigners fighting against plans to close the A&E and maternity units at Lewisham Hospital are due to hold a final demonstration outside the Department of Health today.

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Department of Health statement on Lewisham

"We appreciate that the recommendations for the future of South London Healthcare NHS Trust concern many people from the local community. The NHS is rightly one of our most treasured institutions, so of course people are going to hold strong views about any changes to local services. However, where trusts face long standing problems we have been clear that doing nothing is not an option. It is crucial that patients in South East London have high quality health services that will last. There isn't an easy solution to the problems at South London Healthcare NHS Trust."

– Department of Health spokesperson.

Lewisham Hospital protest tweets


Closing Lewisham's A&E "carries huge clinical risks"

Thousands of protesters have marched against plans to scrap a hospital's A&E department and downgrade its maternity ward be rejected. Under the proposals, Lewisham Hospital would see its emergency department replaced with an "urgent care" ward and its maternity services become a midwife-led unit

"This decision is crazy and ill thought out. It is a big mistake and carries huge clinical risks of things going wrong for patients but also political risk.

If Jeremy Hunt can close a good local hospital here, he can do it anywhere in the country - nowhere is safe.

This is very much a national issue, there are 60 hospital trusts across the country under threat of bankruptcy, many of them very good hospitals.

We are saying 'look at Lewisham, if we can win then you can win'. And even if we lose, we will keep on fighting, that is the most important thing."

– Dr Louise Irvine, local GP
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Thousands march for Lewisham Hospital

Aerial view of thousands of protesters marching around Lewisham Hospital Credit: Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust

Thousands of protesters marched around Lewisham Hospital this afternoon to demand that the Government withdraw plans to to scrap the hospital's A&E department, and downgrade its maternity ward.

  1. National

Protesters march over A&E plans at Lewisham Hospital

Thousands of protesters marched to demand that plans to scrap Lewisham Hospital's A&E department and downgrade its maternity ward be rejected.


Lewisham Hospital demonstration

Protesters at a previous demonstration. Credit: ITN

Hundreds of protesters are expected at a demonstration later today against proposals to shut the A&E and maternity departments at Lewisham hospital.

If the proposals get the go-ahead Lewisham could be merged with Woolwich's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Lewisham Hospital: Department of Health statement

The Department of Health has reacted to demonstrations against the planned closure of the Accident and Emergency and Maternity units at Lewisham Hospital.

In a statement, they said:

"We appreciate that the recommendations for the future of South London Healthcare NHS Trust concernmany people from the local community. We have today accepted a local petition which we will consider.

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. He will announce his final decision by early February 2013."

– Department of Health spokesman
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