Thousands sign petition to save services at Lewisham Hospital

Over 19,000 people have signed a petition in an effort to stop cuts to a London hospital that may be forced to remove its Accident and Emergency services along with its Maternity services. A public consultation will be open until December 13th at which point proposals could be followed out that would see all three of these units closed officially at the Lewisham Hospital.

Thousands of local residents are expected to attend a public meeting held at the South London Catford Broadway Theatre on November 28th at 7pm as they attempt to make their voices heard so that they can prevent the budget cuts and subsequent cut in services. The budget cuts are even more controversial since the hospital services a borough that has one of the largest black populations in Britain.

The Save Lewisham Hospital Group organisers stated that that the cuts are part of the new hospital services restructuring projects in order to help plug the debts that were incurred by the South London Healthcare Trust. It is ironic given that the Accidents and Emergency department was just reopened after a £21m refurbishment project was completed.

The South London Healthcare Trust entered administration last July and according to a draft report the debt will not be able to be reversed without cutting some services at other south east London hospitals.

However, local organisers and residents are upset over the plans to remove services stating that they should not have to lose their essential services at a hospital that has been successful just because another trust racked up debts.

MP Joan Ruddock suggested that instead of cutting services they should write off the debts and last Saturday the Save Lewisham Hospital group held a rally that was attended by thousands of people that joined hands and formed a human chain around the hospital to how their support.