Boris: "Powerful argument" to shut Lewisham A&E

Ahead of tomorrow's expected verdict on the fate of Lewisham A&E, which faces closure under a plan to rescue less-well-run hospitals, Mayor Johnson has declined to speak out in favour of protecting Lewisham services. The News Shopper reports:

When asked about the issue at City Hall, he replied that the administrators had made a "powerful argument" to shut the A&E. He said: "It would be inappropriate for me, wrong for me, to do what you want me to do in respect of Lewisham A&E."

The Standard's City Hall editor Pippa Crerar said: "So Boris not coming out to bat for Lewisham then?"

Perhaps it might have been unrealistic to expect Boris, who owes his mayoralty to voters in the outer boroughs, to back Lewisham's case when an alternative plan might require cuts in Tory-stronghold Bromley, but he could have at least have acknowledged the (much more) powerful argument in favour of saving Lewisham A&E.

18 comments:

Michael Harris said...

I'm actually astounded. Boris never popular in Lewisham, but wow this is a kick in the teeth. 

Max Calò said...

If we shut the bloody cable-car we'd be able to rescue two or three hospitals. That's what's inappropriate, you Boris, you're not up to your job title. Muppet.

Tamsin said...

It's knife edge stuff.  Good coverage of the delegation to the Department of Health this morning on the ITV local news slot at 6pm.

Hunt does have wriggle room - let's hope he uses it.  He could save political face by accepting the arguments that the TSA's suggestions are actually outside his legal powers (and also don't meet the four tests).  Kershaw could be thrown a lifeline with the excuse that he was the first such Administrator ever appointed and to an extent had to work things out as he went along.

Max Calò said...

I don't think they would admit that the TSA has acted outside the remit, but if they don't want to test that in court they may concede on the ground of the 4 tests. 

Transpontine said...

Not a good sign, Johnson presumably knows from the Tory inside track what Hunt is planning and is smoothing the way. Incidentally I think we should stop calling him Boris, that just strengthens the brand of the 'cuddly friendly iconoclast', he is Mayor Johnson, unprincipled uncaring egotist. Oh and they're not his bikes either.

Daniel Woods said...

not sure can read too much into his comment, just have to wait

Fran said...

Boris want bright sparkly things,not stopping hospital A&E closure. he just had Bullingdon revisited on his jolly in Switzerland

Paul Astles said...

I'm not astounded at all, I've never trusted him at all and I agree that his carefully constructed image should be seen through. Boris is the enemy.

Fran said...

And spot on Transportine. Most of Big Boris ideas were started by ken:fact

Anonymous said...

I voted for him and I would again. An honest mayor for an honest London - Boris tells it like it is and doesn't bow to hand-wringing.

The big picture? said...

Does the Mayor have much of a say in this?

It is not a budget he controls. 

In fact the financial issues at the heart of this could dealt with at a national level.  I heard the NHS is under budget and could easily bail out this local difficulty.  However, no doubt that could the 'thin of the wedge'.  It is not only Lewisham.
 

Brockley Nick said...

If you're such a fan of straight talking, perhaps you could stop spouting such vacuous piffle.

Anon said...

This all started way back when the Queen Elizabeth hospital Woolwich was built. At the time it was questioned was it required.

If Lewisham A&E is being closed because it's not in a Conservative area did Labour build the hospital at Woolwich because it is a Labour area?

On the finances, who signed off the PFI agreement at Woolwich?

As early as 2004 the financial crisis had been publicly identified.....

John Pelly, the trust's chief executive, said: "In traditional commercial terms we are insolvent - The problem is that the [financial] situation has tightened so much in the NHS ... There is little spare cash around and much less flexibility."

The projected figures showed a defecit of £98m by 2008.
 
Remember this was during the glorious Labour boom years, when Patricia Hewitt announced these financial difficulties can be resolved.

So how come in 2007 the Woolwich hospital was still financially crippled when the structure of the PFI agreement was revealed...

"Should the NHS terminate its 60-year agreement early at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, south-east London, the contractors Skanska and Innisfree will gain the right to use the land and buildings until 2126."  

When Woolwich was built did no one sit down and project the likely patient numbers and income compared to the cost of the PFI agreement?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/dec/16/publicservices.topstories3

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1552091/NHS-could-lose-millions-on-PFI-land-clauses.html 

Anon said...

   Why doesn't Jeremy Hunt have a word with his old mucker Rupert Murdoch to 'adopt' Woolwich Hospital and bail it out, maybe also encourage those tax avoiding companies and individuals to chip in?

Ed Milliband could hint to Tony Blair he might like to donate some cash? 

Anon said...

Is known what Lewisham Hospital think is best? I know that have put in a bid to operate Queen Elizabeth's could there have been discussions the public are unaware of?

Anon said...

A kick in the teeth as a result of decisions/votes by our local MPs?
 
Jim Dowd - Health Select Committee 2001-2010
Joan Ruddick - An Undersecretary and Minister of State 2007-2010 
 
Did neither question their collegues regarding the growing deficeit at Woolwich as to the the impact it would have and the consequences of failing to stem the financial crisis? 

Bigfried said...

What's the one thing that everyone really needs at some point in their life to be there when they need it -  a good, nearby A&E.

unless you're some kind of indestructible non-humanoid it might be you at which point everything else will be just fluff.

The big picture? said...

The days
of centralised 'do everything' A&E departments seem to be numbered and will
be replaced by specialist centres depending on the condition.  

Lewisham hospitals future is to be heavily influenced by this long term strategy and this is quite apart from the row over finances.

Have a read.

http://mediacentre.dh.gov.uk/2013/01/31/south-london-healthcare-nhs-trust-to-be-dissolved-by-1-october-2013/

 

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