Lewisham A&E threat: Reduced service will have to serve 85,000 more people

Artists - is there anything they can't do? Ryan Gander has created this work for a project called Artists For the NHS in response to the threat to close Lewisham's A&E department. He sums it up:

Lewisham Hospital is a decent local hospital that serves a population of 250,000 – that’s a similar size to a small city like Hull. It is financially stable. It recently had its A&E refurbished at a cost of £22m. That A&E, and large other parts of the hospital, are now facing closure, leaving the population of the borough to try and get to hospitals in Greenwich or Bromley instead.

At the same time,Cllr Darren Johnson reports that the population that the reduced A&E service will have to serve a population that is forecast to grow by 85,000 by 2026. He says:

I will be asking the Mayor of London to oppose the closure of Lewisham A & E at Mayor’s Question Time on Wednesday morning. The Mayor’s own figures show that the population will grow rapidly in the three boroughs in the catchment area for Lewisham Hospital & the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.


Anonymous said...

Errrr the group is actually called Artists For the NHS - NOT against!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if we're talking about the same Greenwich but it takes me about 10 minutes to get there.

Help said...

Darren and any others who may know: what can we do to oppose this? I know about the march and petition, but who do we write to (strike at) to have the most impact??

Anonymous said...

anonymous 15:50 - so it takes you 10 minutes to get to the hospital in greenwich does it?

Tressilliana said...

London Borough of Greenwich, maybe, but the location of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is Woolwich, not Greenwich. You'd need to be superman to get to Woolwich in ten minutes from Brockley.

Tamsin said...

Get your comments in on the consultation - possibly not using their skewed questions but in a separate communication.

The proposals do not make sense clinically or – and most important to make this point – financially. Sir Steve Bullock himself has pointed out the basic fact that if Lewisham residents are taken to hospital outside the Borough the support will simply not be there to bring them back into the community as soon as would be the case if they were in UHL, where a close working relationship between hospital and social services can be maintained. This is quite apart from the difficulties of friends and neighbours visiting to assist their speedy recovery, or the additional cost of hospital transport being sent greater distances to bring them to follow up appointments after they are discharged.

Anonymous said...


How exactly do we send the separate communicaton? The options they give do not indicate this and I agree - the questions are skewed.

Thanks a lot

Use the online response form
Fill in a hard copy of the response form and return the form to the freepost address. To request a copy call us on: 0800 953 0110 (freephone)
Come to one of the public meetings being held in each of the six boroughs of south east London – Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth –where there will be opportunities to tell us what you think about the Trust Special Administrator’s draft recommendations

Tamsin said...

The Freepost address is - wait for it....

Freepost Plus RSHB-CGKA-RYHK
TSA Consultation
Ipsos MORI Research Services Hous
Elmgrove Road,
Harrow.HA1 2QG

Presumably if you get a letter wrong they will try to apply your answers to some questionnaire about catfood.

LiNK are booked the Upper Foyer of the Civic Suite for a Drop In session from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday 28th December. Same date as the Pensioners Forum AGM - with Dr. John Lister talking from London Health Emergency at 10.30 in Rooms 1&2, and in the evening the Broadway Theatre is booked for a second public meeting - again with John Lister.

Lou Baker said...


You talk about things being skewed and then you advertise London Health Emergency - an organisation so far to the left it makes Trotsky look like a Tory.

One of the major problems with the health service is Nimbys. Nimbys so concerned about the little bit closest to them that they don't see the bigger picture.

If you have a stroke, for example, it's better for you to be taken straight to a specialist centre - rather than the local A&E. Similarly, if you have a serious car crash you better hope they take you to Royal London - where they deal with many such patients - rather than Lewisham, where they don't.

The argument that everything has to be close is a dishonest and spurious one. In puts the interests of a very small area over that of a much wider one.

London, as a whole, has too many of these things. That significantly affects patient care because money that could be spent on patient care has to go on retaining buildings and staff who duplicate work done a few mikes down the road. But this can't be fixed because everytime changes are proposed the local busybodies kick up a fuss. Hence the NHS will never get better.

Thank god I have private healthcare.

max said...

Yes, and if you paediatric care or you're expecting a child you'd better be served by Lewisham than by any other hospital in South East London!

But I agree that nothing always stays the same, only that there are two ways to go, up or down, and the SLHT Special Administrator has a special plan for us to go down, down, down...

Alternatively he could just go away, away, away and let Lewisham Hospital improve has it's been doing in the recent years.

This plan is for a substantial downgrading of Lewisham Hospital, so much that the important specialized services offered there will be compromised and at the end it could end up just as a glorified day care centre.

And BTW Lou, most people that need to get to A&E mostly need to get to an A&E quickly, if an Ambulance comes to get you because you're having a stroke or an heart attack then they'll decide where's the best place for you but if everyone calls for an ambulance instead of going to A&E then those with a bona fide heart attack will be all dead by the time the ambulance gets there.
And this also include all those with private care like you.

Anonymous said...

? Lou... Royal London for serious car crash or, err, KCH, which is this side of the river and has a bus connection from Lewisham town centre & trains from nunhead, Catford and Crofton park, where 2 members of my family who were involved in crashes both outside of the m25, 1 v serious indeed and happened on humberside, both live outside of the M25, and both were transferred to Kings.
Equally family member tranferred from Blackheath private healthcare funded planned surgery to KCH for her operation on her consultant's insistence, and friend recently referred from Lewisham A&E to KCH as symptoms fell within their speciality.
Funny though, never known anyone be transferred to Woolwich. And have even less idea how I'd get there if I needed to in a hurry. At least Royal London although harder to reach by road or public transport has an air ambulance service.

Tamsin said...

Take Left and Right of politics totally out of it - and one wishes that a lot of those who are working for the campaign would, the SWP are not constructive - the potential impact of these decisions is too far-reaching for there to be any place for looking back at which shade of government started what process.

I, personally, am a-political. In my past posts I have frequently said that that the NHS has suffered as much from the ideology of the Left - the stranglehold of the Unions and restrictive work practices - as from the Right - privatise and out-source everything with competition being the answer to all ills.

The TSA's draft proposals, though, don't make financial sense - people who would otherwise go to Lewisham won't necessarily go to bolster the intake (and hence funding) for QEH - and for those that do and are admitted the follow-on care will be more of a drain on the NHS budget overall because the support services to get them back home and unblocking that expensive hospital bed are not in place at that distance from family, friends and, most importantly, their local social services.

And it does not make sense clinically - all are agreed that, whatever its occasional problems - and I acknowledge some of them are serious, basically UHL is a good hospital and improving. Don't weaken it and don't - and this is hidden around page 325 of the 375 odd pages of appendix - "consolidate the estate", i.e. sell off more than half the site.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that 2/3 thirds of the UHL site is earmarked to be sold and no doubt turned into flats.

Tamsin said...

Not likely to be flats - change of use issues and the need to demolish entirely and rebuild. More likely to be private clinics for those - in Tom Leher's phrase - "specialising in diseases of the ... rich".

Anonymous said...

Great article about this in the guardian

Ladywell1 said...

I wonder who trained Lou Baker's doctors in her private healthcare practice?...Yes, that's right Lou the NHS in all likelihood.
P.s. Too many of these things - if the plans go ahead there will be 1 A&E department for the 3 boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley, over 750,000 served by 1 A&E...

Mezzer said...

Well there's a surprise.  Sorry Nick, but it's looking like one of your predictions is unlikely to come to pass.


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