BMA questions Lewisham Hospital cuts

We're grateful to the Brockley Society, who circulated this email from the Lewisham branch of the British Medical Association, reflecting on the recommendations of the Trust Special Administrator, who proposes to cut front line services at Lewisham Hospital. The BMA says:

Unsurprisingly, he recommends that the hospitals be run more efficiently, cut staff (including 140 doctors) and put some services out to tender. More surprising is his recommendation that the accumulated debt be written off, and the DH make an annual contribution towards the excess cost of the PFI contracts...

His most detailed proposals are for Lewisham, a solvent and well run hospital not even in the SLHT. He recommends that the A&E be downgraded to an urgent care centre, that the site be developed for elective surgical care, and that all critical care activites should cease. This then brings into question the future of obstetrics on the site. He is silent on the subject of paediatrics. With the reduction in activity, he points out that part of the site could be sold off. 

The TSA recommends that Lewisham Hopsital should "join up" with QEH. There is a possibilty that Lewisham could impart good practice to QEH, but there is real risk that QEH could destroy the finances at Lewisham.

It is not clear if he expects all of the 70 patients currently admitted each day to go to QEH instead, and what would be the financial consequences if they did not. He presents no assessment of the capacity of QEH to cope with the extra work, nor of their capacity to cope with extra obstetrics, nor of the capacity at Kings, which is where I suspect many of the patients would end up.

This has many consequences for those of us who live or work in Lewisham. For hospital doctors and patients these are immedicately obvious, but for GPs too this is very problematic. The work of the CCG has been based on successful partnership working with the hospital, and mnore recently good partnerships have been developed with Lewisham Council. The abilty to plan services for the people of Lewisham is entirely undermined.

The full report, summary and online response froms are all available at

The TSA is organising consultation meetings in Lewisham:

16th November 10.00-12.00 Goldsmith's College SE14 6NW

26th November 14.00-16.00 St Andrew's centre SE4 2SA

4th Decemebr 19.00-21.00 Calabash Day Centre SE13 6HH