Protesters score partial victory for Lewisham Hospital’s A&E department
Protestors who took to the streets to save a south London hospital has scored a partial victory. The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today that Lewisham Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department has been saved from total closure.
But services at the hospital. will be cut back, meaning that patients from that part of London will face longer journeys to and from hospital. The concession is unlikely to end the protests which saw 25,000 demonstrators out on the streets last Saturday.
The threat to Lewisham had outraged local opinion because it is a well-managed hospital which faced drastic cuts to pay for losses run up by other hospitals in that part of London. The South London Healthcare Trust, which has accumulated debts of more than £200 million, and is losing £1 million a week, is to dissolved in nine months.
Mr Hunt conceded that the losses had not come from Lewisham, but told MPs that it is in the interests of people living in the area as much as patients from elsewhere in south London that the trust’s finances are sorted. He also argued that concentrating services in fewer specialist centres will save lives.
He blamed the Trust’s financial problems on the Labour government, which set it up and encouraged the trust to enter into expensive public finance initiative deals.
But the Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, countered that the changes Mr Hunt announced were “financially driven” and that a clinical justification had been “thrown together” to justify the cost cutting. He said that this created a “dangerous precedent.”
Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander told the Health Secretary: “You may appear to have thrown something of a lifeline to Lewisham Accident and Emergency…but it’s far from the services that the people of south east London deserve.”
Mr Hunt also faced criticism from one his fellow Tory MPs, Bob Stewart, who told him: “I do find it rather strange that a successful hospital is being slashed when other hospitals are being saved.”
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 It's not just the savagery of Isis that is shocking – its weaponry is too
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Sir Paul McCartney makes his stance on Scottish independence known
PM sets out tough new anti-terror measures in response to heightened threat
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Web Develop...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...