Campaigners are urging the government to reject a report that says Lewisham Hospital should sacrifice services, for the sake of a debt-ridden health care trust. The plan calls for it to lose its maternity and A-and-E units.
Members of the Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust have heavily criticised plans to dissolve a debt-ridden NHS Trust which was on the brink of bankruptcy.
John O'Donohue, consultant physician at Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust described the devastating effect it could have on other financially stable trusts nearby.
If services at a successful and well-run hospital like Lewisham are closed due to problems at a neighbouring trust, then no hospital in London, or the country, is safe. These plans are a travesty. They are unsafe, rushed and unjust, but most of all will disadvantage the people of Lewisham, who will have to travel further to already overcrowded neighbouring A&E and maternity units - units which, ironically, have themselves been diverting ambulances and pregnant women to Lewisham in recent days due to lack of capacity.
A struggling NHStrust which was on the brink of bankruptcy should be dissolved, an officialconsultation has concluded.
South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs three hospitals in London, was the first ever to be placed in administration after it started losing around £1.3 million a week.
Special administrator Matthew Kershaw said the trust should now be broken up, with other organisations taking over the management and delivery of its services.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said that past efforts to tackle the deficit at the South London Healthcare Trust had not been successful, and that turning its fortunes around would be a "big challenge".
It is the first NHS trust in the country to be put under the control of a special administrator.
"Although there have been some improvements in mortality rates, maternity services and infection control, and some early signs of improvements in waiting times, they do not go far enough. It will be impossible for South London to build on these improvements while tackling such a large deficit....
– Health Secretary Andrew Lansley
"...I am confident that with the regime I am enacting today in place, and working extensively with clinicians, health service leaders, patients and local people, [the special administrator] will have the tools and framework in place to find a long-term satisfactory solution for the people of south east London."
An NHS Trust which is losing a million pounds a week has become the first in the country to be put under the control of a special administrator.
South London Healthcare NHS Trust runs Queen Mary's in Sidcup, the Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich and the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley.
The government has appointed Matthew Kershaw, a former NHS chief executive, to get the trust back on track following criticism of standards and a defecit of more than 150 million pounds.