It’s not the full-throated campaign that some would like to see, but Greenwich Council has finally come out against the proposed closure of Lewisham Hospital’s accident and emergency department.
The council’s response was quietly published on its website yesterday. It says “existing levels of demand” as well as past and projected population growth means it “cannot support the closure”.
It adds that “greater clarity is needed in particular about the types of injury and treatment that can be catered for at an Urgent Care Centre,” which is planned to open in Lewisham, “as opposed to a traditional A&E department”, and expresses scepticism about the travel times for ambulances.
While not explicitly calling for Lewisham to keep its maternity ward, the response also calls for extra capacity for a growing population. It’s worth a read if you’ve been following the campaign – I’d be interested in your views.
Friday 00.05 update: Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts has told Greenwich.co.uk:
“The first question, frankly, we had to ask is ‘If we say we don’t support the closure of Lewisham, does that mean you come back and close Queen Elizabeth Hospital?’
“We produced a long list of questions that were added to by our Health Scrutiny Panel that we gave to the Trust Administrator and said ‘Before we say where we’re coming down on this, we want to know the answers to some of these.’” Read more.
For more on the consultation, which ends on 13 December, see the TSA website. For more on the campaign to protect Lewisham’s hospital services, see Save Lewisham Hospital. Shannon Hawthorne has a great summary that’s worth reading, too.
This is a disappointingly week response from Greenwich Council, which has a whiff of ‘I’m alright Jack’ about it. Saying we ‘cannot support’ the closure of Lewisham A&E is very mealy mouthed. I would have hoped for a much stronger statement against the closure. And their response on maternity is similarly weak. If they must see the issue in parochial terms, why can they not see that closing of facilities in Lewisham would put unacceptable pressure on QEH?
[…] draft response has been published on the council’s website and will be agreed next week before being […]
Which health authority exactly? Lewisham is solvent and this whole process has been put in place to sort out the problems at South London Healthcare Trust.
[…] of the government’s plan to shut the neighbouring A&E? No. To be fair, Greenwich eventually submitted a written response pointing out the closure was wrong, but politically, Greenwich’s Labour leadership […]
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