Thursday, 31 January 2013

Lewisham Hospital Closure will Happen.. Read Hunts Speech. Our Plan for fightback

I am arranging for the attached poster to be sent to schools in the borough for display at school gates this afternoon.

I am trying to arrange for a powerful pa to be at Lewisham Hospital this afternoon mounted on the minibus we have been using.

If you have email addresses for schools please send it on to them as I am relying on a few headtechers passing it on to others and it doesn't matter if they get it more than once.


Hunt's speech:

11.42am GMT <>

Hunt says his predecessor put the trust into special administration.

He says the adminstrator had a very difficult trust. He was only able to produce a solution by making recommendations affecting other hospitals.

Hunt says he accepts that analysis.

He lists six recommendations which he says he has accepted in full.

On Lewisham, he says there was also a recommendation to reconfigure A&A services in the area.

The public campaign surrounding services at Lewisham has shown just how much it is valued.

He says he respects the feelings of local people.

But solving the financial crisis at South London Healthcare trust is also important to these people.

He says he has had many conversations. He has asked the NHS medical director to review the recommendations relating to Lewisham.

On clinical input, a clinical advisory group supported the views of the administrator, he says.

On the issue of better care, the recommendations will apply for the first time new 2012 standards. These will set higher standards.

But these cannot be introduced without closing A&E departments, he says.

The whole population of south east London will continue to be within 30 minutes of a blue light journey time. The average journey will only be about a minute longer, he says.

11.46am GMT <>

Hunt is still speaking.

He says the NHs medical director supports the downgrading of Lewisham.

Turning to the emergency care proposals, he says the NHS medical director recommends Lewisham retaining a smaller emergency department.

Up to three quarters of those curently attending Lewisham A&E could attend the new service at the hospital, he says.

Patients with more serious conditions could be taken to other hospitals.

This will require careful planning.

The NHS medical director believes that, with these caveats, care could improve.

The new system could save up to 100 lives a year, he says.

Hunt says that on this basis he accepts the Lewisham closure proposals.

But they would have to be subject to approval by Monitor.

The process will proceed to implementation.

The South London Healthcare trust will be dissolved by October 2013

Keep up to date on this fast moving story, follow Ray on twitter@Raywoolford
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