BBC: At least 15,000 march against Lewisham Hospital cuts plan

The campaign to save Lewisham A&E from closure has succeeded in attracting a huge turnout at this afternoon's march, to protest against a plan which critics say could set a dangerous precedent for hospitals across the country. The BBC reports that:

"BBC London reporter Matt Morris said at least 15,000 attended Saturday's event. The Save Lewisham Hospital group claims up to 25,000 took part."

Please share your stories from the march here.

15 comments:

Blammo said...

Lewisham A+E saved my life after a six ft drop onto my head, which smashed my head open. It is times like that when you realise what a fantastic thing we have and why it shouldn't be closed down. The march today was amazing and showed how many people this one until helps.

Tim Chaplin said...

Half of Lewisham must have been on the march today and many people from the surrounding area. Loved that some of the placards seemed to have a commercial vibe - well done Bubbles Food & Wine SE4,
 

John said...

It's hard to say exactly how many people were on the march but I suspect that the BBC were probably more accurate with their estimate as organisers usually up the figures a little. Apart from the huge turnout, what impressed me most was the number of people in vehicles who obviously weren't aware of the march and got caught in the traffic. They knew they were going to be stuck for a long time but were sounding their horns in support.

pickles said...

I went on the march with my daughter amazing and so many people turned out.

Monkeyboy said...

I saw placards from The Gantry, Jays Budgens, Nu-Spice & The Forest Hill Society. A diverse crowd including the hairiest anarchist in SE London (you know who you are)

Daniel Woods said...

a + e saved my life as well. when 2 years old, i had a severe asthma attack, couldn't breathe and they put me in an oxygen tent. time and thus, distance is so important in critical situations. if there had not been services within such close proximity, i might not be here. i am sure there are many others with similar tales to tell. as i wrote before, this could save people's lives. everyone who went should be proud.

Tamsin said...

I think the police were in the middle with 20,000.  And as they are also usually conservative the organisers are probably about right.

Remember the BBC said that the 8000 - 10000 in Novemer were only 2000.

Jim Connell said...

I agree with Tamsin: 20,000 or maybe more.  Wonder if anyone did an accurate headcount?
Good coverage on BBC London TV News as well as being a lead item on BBC Radio 4 national news, making the point that Lewisham could just be the first of many similar, successful hospitals that could face closure.  

Ian Duffy said...

It was the first time I'd ever been on a protest, and I was proud to be a Lewisham resident today. Fingers crossed we get the sensible and right decision on 1 February.

Vesta Curry said...

The BBC has covered this well ... bit disappointed with the increasingly disappointing Guardian ... crap coverage. Grrrr.

Tamsin said...

A bit hard to do an accurate headcount.  In November most people who went to the rally from the march had to go through a single fairly narrow entrance into Ladywell Fields where it is was possible to count the number going in during a certain span of time and then simply multiply up - where the police got their conservative estimate from, I believe.  This figure was increased in some of the estimates to take account of those who peeled off to go to the front of the hospital or who did not march but came to the rally from the southern gates.  The traffic control people also told the organisers that they thought the figure was 15,000.

This time it was more difficult.  The main entrance to the park was wider so the flow of people was not as steady, and there were also other entrances - so when there was a delay at the main George Lane entrance people could continue round and go in through one of the Stainton Road gates.

sisstarmama said...

it made me so proud too seeto many peopleof all races coming together

Jim Connell said...

Very true, sisstarmama, it's called Community Cohesion.  We were all united for a common cause, keeping a vital element of Lewisham's health services.

Tamsin said...

But to spread things beyond the community - something we all can do is contact friends and relatives in other constituencies and ask them to put pressure on their own MPs to sign up to Early Day Motion 306 http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/306 which deplores the result of PFIs on the NHS.

anonymouse said...

Now the Whittington is under threat (again).

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