We, health workers in Southeast London, have grave concerns about the proposal to downgrade emergency medical
and surgical services at Lewisham Hospital made by the Trust Special
Administrator (TSA) for South London Healthcare NHS Trust. Lewisham Hospital is
not part of that trust. It is a solvent, successful organisation that delivers
high-quality care to its patients. Yet the TSA has taken the extraordinary view
that Lewisham’s Accident and Emergency Department should close to admissions,
leading to closure of acute services including full maternity services, and
that most of the hospital site be sold.
services are vital for the population of Lewisham, which contains some of the
most deprived wards in England. Lewisham Hospital’s new £12 million
A&E department opened as recently as April 2012 in response to the need for
expanded services. The TSA’s report asserts that the need for emergency care
would be reduced by 30% simply by providing more care in the community.
However, there is simply no clinical evidence to back this up. In any case
Lewisham Hospital has already been innovative in working with social services
to provide more care at home and avoid admissions in patients with chronic
illness. Our intensive care unit has excellent standardised mortality rates.
Our new birthing centre has high maternal satisfaction and provides
high-quality care to a community with a high proportion of ‘high risk’ births,
which would be jeopardised if maternity services are lost or downgraded.
Lewisham Hospital features in the top 40 hospitals in the CHKS rankings. If its
acute services are lost, they could not be provided by others without risking
patients' safety and quality of care.
review fails the “four tests” that you and the Secretary of State for Health
have recently laid down in Parliament. It does not have the backing of GPs. It
does not have public support, as the demonstrations, public meetings and the
petition have shown. It is not based on sound clinical evidence (detailed
responses from groups of clinicians, including GPs, are at http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/).
Even the report itself acknowledges that it will not improve patient choice.
government's response to this report has an importance beyond Lewisham. The
report is an attempted regional reconfiguration, tacked onto the statutory
regime for an unsustainable provider, which is being used here for the first
time ever. The report was drawn up to statutory timescales that are much too
short for a considered reconfiguration, with the result that the clinical
consultation is desultory and the clinical evidence is of poor quality. If this
report is accepted as it stands, it will create a dangerous precedent for the
rest of England. Furthermore, the TSA has produced a report which perversely
recommends that a solvent and successful organisation be punished to save a
separate, unsustainable provider. We doubt that this is a signal that you will
want to send to the NHS and the public.
We urge you and
the Secretary of State for Health to reject the recommendation that Lewisham
Hospital lose its A&E and acute services.
(No Sponsor Information)
Help spread the word about this petition. Copy the code below and paste it into your website or blog to help promote this petition.
The views expressed in this petition are solely those of the petition's sponsor and do not in any way reflect the views of iPetitions. iPetitions is solely a provider of technical services to the petition sponsor and cannot be held liable for any damages or injury or other harm arising from this petition. In the event no adequate sponsor is named, iPetitions will consider the individual account holder with which the petition was created as the lawful sponsor.