London A&Es future unclear

Lewisham Hospital's A&E department under threat Credit: ITN

An unprecedented coalition of London residents, medical staff, trade unions and health campaigners has come together to raise the alarm regarding what they say is the biggest threat to A & Es,maternity units and in-hospital care for a generation.

ConcernedLondoners have lobbied MPs to highlight threats to the NHS in London which willinclude protests, pickets, rallies, demonstrations, candle lit vigils andmusical events.

Campaigners claim these threats include the closure of Lewisham Hospital's new A&E and maternity units, paediatric services and ICU announced last week by Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt.

They say the closest A&E at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich has lesser facilities,is financially unstable and is a two hour bus ride away for many residents.

It comes as Lewisham council threatened Mr Hunt with legal action and has also setup a Legal Challenge Fund to allow people in the community to contribute to the action.

SeveralPrimary Care Trusts are due to make their final recommendations throughoutFebruary after which their reports will go to Jeremy Hunt for a final decision.