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

NHS The Campaign to save our NHS this is your guide to actions across the UK.

Action to defend the NHS is urgent. At least 10 hospitals in London have casualty and maternity departments threatened with closure. Now they want to sell off half of the Whittington hospital, and even more NHS privatisation is planned.  

25,000 people marched in Lewisham alone. It is time for us to take to the streets everywhere until we force the government to back down. Support these actions:
  • Action today as Jeremy Hunt makes an announcement about Lewisham Hospital
  • Week of Action to Defend London's NHS 09-16 February

25,000 march to save Lewisham Hospital
If you couldn’t make the march then watch the video

Flash protests today! Thursday 31 January
As Jeremy Hunt announces the fate of South London Hospitals
Greenwich KONP will be outside parliament 11am
Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign Flash Protest:
Lewisham Hospital main entrance 6pm
(or on Tuesday 05 Feb if announcement delayed until then)

Join the action –from Demonstrations to Singing Flash Mobs!

Please use Logo attached and let us know any events you are organising

Defend London’s NHS Press conference 
Monday 11 February
All London campaigns to be present.

Congratulations to Haringey and Hammersmith who have already had large public meetings this week. 

Camden Keep Our NHS Public 
Public Meeting
Monday 04 February 6.30pm
Camden Town Hall, Judd St, WC1
Speakers include Frank Dobson and Whittington Hospital Campaign

Kingston Save Our Hospitals
Public Meeting
Monday 04 February 7pm
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road KT1 2EE
Save our Hospitals in SW London petition

Kingston Save Our Hospitals
Saturday 16 February 12 noon
Norbiton Station march to Guildhall

Defend Whittington Hospital
Public Meeting
Tuesday 12 February 7.30pm
Archway Methodist Hall, Archway close (on Archway roundabout)
Speakers include Jeremy Corbyn, David Lammy and Frank Dobson
Latest on threat to the hospital

Defend Whittington Hospital
Saturday 16 February          

Ealing Hospital
Candle lit vigil
Saturday 09 February 5-6.30pm
Ealing Hospital

Ealing Hospital
Saturday 16 February 12 noon
Ealing Broadway shopping centre

Hammersmith Hospital Campaign
Protest March
Saturday 16 February 12 noon
Lyric Square King Street

Lewisham Hospital campaign
Friday 15 February
Lewisham Hospital

Singing Flash Mob
Organised by KONP and Velvet Fist
Friday 15 February 5.45pm
Kings X Station (New Departures foyer)
Rehearsal for those who can make it:  Wed 13 Feb 7-8pm
Cock Tavern, Chalton Street/Phoenix Road NW1 (Euston Station tube)
How they did it in Madrid:

Coordinated action is taking off elsewhere too

Greater Manchester Health Emergency conference Saturday 16 February organised by Greater Manchester Association of Trade Union Councils and Manchester Keep Our NHS Public to coordinate and support campaigns against closure of 5 A&Es across the city.

Save our NHS Hull and E Yorkshire are calling for an NHS Day of Action across the region on Wednesday 27 March

Strikes and occupations against privatisation

Model motion for national action to defend our NHS

Next Save London’s NHS /
Keep Our NHS Public Meeting
Monday 25 February 6.30pm
Camden Town Hall, Jud

Housing Benefit cuts How hard will you be hit?

Millions of low-income households face a steep rise in their council tax bills of up to £600 a year from April, with single parents hit the hardest by what critics have dubbed "a second poll tax".
Some 74% of local authorities in England are planning to increase their demands on families whose council tax is currently discounted or even covered in full by the Government.
From April, however, the system of council tax benefit will be scrapped and authorities asked to introduce their own council tax support scheme, but with a 10% cut in funding.

Benefit cuts could hit the poorest households
The Independent reported that a single parent, working full time on minimum wage could see their bills hiked from £220 to £797, and the unemployed, currently exempt from council tax, could end up paying £225.
The study by the Resolution Foundation independent research group found that some councils were planning to charge affected households an extra 20% of the full council tax bill. Some households faced increases in bills of more than £600 a year.
Researchers warned that a variation in rates of council tax support could undermine the Government's new universal credit, which is meant to simplify the welfare system and ensure it always makes financial sense to take a job.
The report's author, Matthew Pennycook, said: "The axeing of council tax benefit has major implications for universal credit, which is supposed to be all about simplifying welfare and giving people a stronger incentive to work.
"These changes undermine both goals. There will now be a highly-complex and confusing patchwork of local support while the low-paid will keep even less of an extra pound in earnings than the Government has claimed."
Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: "Millions of England's poorest households - both in and out of work - are already very close to the edge given falling wages, tax credits and benefits.
"Very few of those currently exempt from paying the full rate of council tax are expecting a large new bill to drop onto their doormat this spring. When it does, they are going to find it hard to cope.
"The new system will result in hard-pressed councils spending scarce resources chasing some of the poorest people in the country for non-payment."
Local government minister Brandon Lewis said: "Spending on council tax benefit doubled under the last administration and welfare reform is vital to tackle the budget deficit we have inherited.
"Under the last administration, more taxpayers' money was being spent on benefits than on defence, education and health combined.
"Our reforms will localise council tax support and give councils stronger incentives to support local firms, cut fraud, promote local enterprise and get people into work. We are ending the 'something for nothing' culture and making work pay.
"Under the last government, council tax bills doubled. The coalition Government has worked with councils to freeze council tax for two years, with a further freeze offered for this year. We are cutting council tax in real terms for hard-working families and pensioners, and we are on the side of people who work hard and want to get on."

Deptford Waterside 2 bed flat £250 per week

Housemartins have just taken on a retro 2 double bedroom flat on the foreshore Deptford at £250 per week, the stylish flat has great views and good size rooms. 0207 231 5656

Greenwich.Lambeth.Southwark People Before Profit

As we move forward ever closer to the 2014 Local Council elections, this is the most important elections for people opposed to privatisation of public services and cuts.
People Before Profit are set and in place in every ward in Lewisham to fight to win the Council seats as well as with the resignation of Deptford MP Joan Ruddock, the Deptford Parlimentary seat.
It is therefore crucial that people that care come forward NOW to stand as People Before Profit Council Candidates across the UK.
 small groups are forming everywhere in the UK as well as across the world.
 We have made our First breakthrough in Ireland with Councillors and MPs being elected.
We are the 99% we have got to fight back, we have got to stand together and we must put People before the establishment agenda of what many see as Class war, whilst other the total distraction of the nhs AND the WELFARE STATE THAT PEOPLE FOUGHT AND DIED FOR.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Bargain Chelsea Kings Road /Fulham Flat to let

Housemartins the best estate agent on the planet have a large 1 bedroom apartment to let on Gunter Grove Chelsea..this links Kings Road with Fulham road in Chelsea so at £350 per week for a period apartment in such a great location seems great value.
Email to view or call 0207 231 5656 to view.

Convoy wharf. New Plans published 28 January 2013

The latest planning proposals were made public last night at a meeting called by Lewisham Council between the developers and the residents of Evelyn ward.
Convoy Wharf is of far greater interest to all the residents of Deptford not just this ward, and the lack of promotion of this event and awareness was truly shocking, Pepys Community forum  were present, as was Positive youth, but no other group was represented and People Before Profit were only present due to a call tipping us of about the meeting.
After the huge campaign by residents,  which lead to the original plans being scrapped, it seems the Labour Party is seeking as it has been doing with the hospital campaign  to high jack the issues to stop the huge numbers of people switching on mass from Labour to People Before Profit.
 At last nights meeting the local Labour councillor was a bit put out, when people she wished to have pictures taken with her stated they were People before Profit supporters.
The Plans;
Far greater thought has been made into the overall impact on the area, whilst original plans were for several tower blocks, some at 48 storeys high, the fresh plans only have one tower block at 46 storeys, with other blocks with stage floors to maximise the river views.
They have not ruled out the Deptford Is.... plans to rebuilt the LENNOX, they have changed the focus with the Olympia building being the key focus of the site, they see this as a key community space, whilst a small primary school is part of this plan and loads of shops and bars with more focus again on linking the river frontage to the wider area, reflecting across the site as much as possible the areas marine and garden history  ( John Evelyn and Sayers Court Manor would be key to the areas development plan history whilst doing much more to open the pathway to Deptford Station to boost the high street).
The Site would also see roads on a parr with road layouts in Rotherhithe facing the river with 2 major access points from Grove street and King stairs., The Local Gardens Twinkle and Pepys would in these plans become part of the development, clearly another area of concern.

 We raised and response;
Dragoon Road was Originaly agreed as access point for the construction lorries as well as the river, the new plan would see the commercial traffic pass Deptford School, this could lead to massive congestion and health Concerns for local Children, They say they will take another look at this.
The Tower Block at 46 storey , in our view is still much to high.
Affordable Housing, The developer states they plan to offer 15% affordable, whilst our figures on close inspection show only 8%. Lewisham Council  policy for all affordable developments of this size , is 35%
The Reality; We have a new Rent cap coming in in April, also Council have been told that all new Tenants must pay 80% of Market rents, When you consider a 1 bedroom apartment on this development will cost £1300 per month plus bills, and the Cap restricting how much a family can get in help via Housing Benefit, clearly Lewisham/Deptford residents will not be in a position to buy or rent with average borough wide wages of just £24.500 per year.
People Before Profit have there fore been pushing forward the Following;
Jobs, we should be building these flats wil local residents many of which have the skills, as well as traing the huge numbers of young people we have as plumber, Builders, Managers, Electricians etc so that they will have long term jobs and real career opertunities at the end, Lewisham seems to be on side with this, and the Labour Councillor supported our view that we must train people in advance, my proposal to use Olympia building as training site whilst site is built has not been ruled out.
Business Plans; Clearly we no not need more Tesco Metro, we proposed again that the area is used to create a new Hub business centre, be it the UK centre for Green Energy Business, Social enterprise or just the centre for UK art, looking long term and building on the mass creativity that exits in Lewisham we should be using this as a way to offer a radicle different business centre whilst turning our area into a better greener space to call home.
Green Energy; In response to our constant demands that this site should lead with Design and Green energy, we were told plans are in place to link with the SELCHIP site at New Cross to use the waste for power on site. Again we stated that we should be using the site to develop low cost energy for all SE8 residents, tackerling fuel poverty would help to address the terrible impact this site will have during the 13 years plus it will take to build the site.
With only 2 Hour Meeting clearly we could not address every concern, People Before Profit will continue top push forward to support not just our proposals, but also Deptford is, and the building of the Lennox.
I hope this has given you a bit more insight into what is Going on.

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

Monday 28 January 2013

Lewisham Hospital Demo photo selection/Labour Party role in this mess.

What a truly wonderful day, the site of 25,000 local Lewisham residents marching together as one to save our local Hospital.
I personally gave out 2000 Song sheets which had been produced on the back of the people Before Profit flyers giving people easy to follow background to PFI.
Whilst Labour is seeking to gain votes out of the Hospital Campaign,Every residents must ask Labour the Following questions as this mess is a direct result of PFI policy opposed by Labour in opposition, but rushed through once they won the election.

Why will Labour not apologise for the PFI contracts which have lead to this crises with many more to follow.

Why have none of the 3 Labour MPs supported the all party early day motion at Westminster for PFI deals to be ended.

Why will the Local Labour party not put forward a party motion in support of the Hospital, something they have done for our Fire Station.

Why will the Labour Party not state publicly that if they win the General Election in 2015 as expected and if they were in Goverment TODAY, that they would reject these closure plans?

The Labour Party is using the Save our Hospital Campaign to mislead the voters into thinking a Labour Goverment would save the Hospital, when there actions make it clear, that Labour would close the Hospital and would carry on with the PFI contracts which are set to see more Hospital and Schools go bust.
In Lewisham People Before Profit are the only alternative to Cuts and Closure , to Vote People Before Profit will not lead to a Tory Council, it would lead to a Nationwide Movement of People feeling strong and able to think about why and how they vote. Voting Labour in Lewisham  is Like voting Conservative light.., the Difference is that Torys are closing the NHS for ideology reasons, Labour because it lacks vision, ideas and an economic policy based around real people not Career politicians.
Make sure every one is aware that Labour Party is refusing to back the Hospital by not agreeing to state it would in Goverment scrap these proposals.This is the worst sort of politics.
Follow Ray on Twitter@Raywoolford

Lewisham Hospital John Hamiltons Comments from People before Profit.

What a fantastic job we all did with the leafletting of stations and 
streets!  Combined with other publicity, posters and banners we 
succeeded in mobilising between 20,000 and 25,000 people yesterday.

I'd just like to say a very big THANK YOU to each of you for the hours 
of slogging the streets and stations and I'm sure I speak for Simone, 
too, who could barely keep up with the list of streets that people were 
reporting back that they had covered.

I was responsible for stations, and after an initial allocation of 
stations to regular People Before Profit campaigners to ensure that they 
were done at least one morning and one evening, I was  inundated with 
offers from people to do follow up leafletting at stations near them.

I don't know about you, but I find it inspiring to talk to people, 
listen to their stories and views (not always positive) and explain why 
we think it's worth fighting for this campaign.

Yesterday's march showed that the people of Lewisham and surrounding 
boroughs really do care about this hospital and the threat to the whole 

Whether Hunt decides to close the A&E and Maternity or to spare them, we 
will still need to counter the underlying cause of the bankruptcy of the 
NHS trust in Greenwich and Bromley - PFI payments to Barclays, Innisfree 
and Taylor-Woodrow (United Health Consortium).

We have been paralysed within the campaign meetings by the reluctance of 
the Labour Party to allow discussion of this aspect - Joan Ruddock 
didn't mention it on Radio 4 yesterday, Heidi Alexander didn't mention.  
None of the Lewisham MPs has signed the early day motion on PFI and 
Lewisham ( ) presumably 
because they don't want to put the blame for the mess fairly and 
squarely where it belongs - on Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Fortunately Lewisham People Before Profit has no such inhibitions and we 
will be discussing how to campaign on this at our regular monthly 
meeting next Monday, 4th February at 7.15 at The Broca Cafe.  All welcome.

We have already performed a short sketch about the PFI scam inside 
Barclays Bank branches in Deptford and Lewisham and set up a petition on 
the Downing Street website at
There is lots of interesting information about PFI at

Don't forget to meet outside Lewisham Hospital at 6pm on the evening 
Hunt makes his announcement.  The BBC is still saying that this will be 
on Friday this week, but it could be another day.


Wednesday 23 January 2013

Lewisham Hospital Mums Blockade Department of Health.

Lewisham Hospital: Mums and buggies blockade Department of Health

Lewisham Hospital: Mums and buggies blockade Department of Health (pic by Simon Way)Lewisham Hospital: Mums and buggies blockade Department of Health (pic by Simon Way)
MORE than 60 mums and their children staged a protest at the Department of Health today against proposals to axe Lewisham Hospital's A&E and maternity services - as thousands prepare to march at the weekend.
Administrator Matthew Kershaw has proposed the closures to help solve the financial problems left by the meltdown of the South London Healthcare Trust. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to decide on the proposals next week.
Consultant obstetrician Ruth Cochrane said: "Lewisham currently has full maternity services and it is wonderful to see that so many local mothers have come out to support the trust. 
"Proposals to downgrade these services and to have a midwife-led birth centre – without the back-up provided by full obstetric services - are just not safe. 
"If women experience a complication during childbirth they would have to be transferred from Lewisham to King's Hospital or to Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich, both of which are simply too far."
Mum-of-three  Jessica Ormerod, chairwoman of Lewisham’s Maternity Services Liaison Committee said: "Lewisham Hospital is not part of South London Healthcare, but is being asked to lose vital services because of financial problems elsewhere. 
"Local GPs and healthcare professionals have said this is unsafe with dangerous consequences, but the government’s special administrator has refused to listen to their views.  Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, is making his final decision by February 1, so it is important he sees how local people feel."
During a parliamentary debate on the issue this morning, Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander branded the proposals unfair and unsafe.
She said: "Over 4,000 babies are born each year at Lewisham. There has been an 11% increase in the number of births at the hospital over the last 5 years and the birth rate is rising.  Unlike other health services, maternity care cannot be rationed or restricted.
"Nationally, we are witnessing the highest birth rate for 40 years – particularly high in places like Lewisham – and the Government wants to close a popular, much-needed maternity department.
"Maternity services in South London are under enormous pressures.
"In the 20 months between April 2011 and November 2012, providers of maternity services across South East London suspended services on 37 occasions. This means women in labour were turned away from hospitals and told they would have to go elsewhere.
"Of these 37 suspensions, 26 of them were necessary because of lack of beds. Kings College Hospital also tried to suspend services on a further six occasions but were unable to do so as no other unit had capacity to accept the women who they were trying to transfer. Just a few weeks ago, both Kings and Woolwich were sending women to Lewisham to give birth."

Thousands to protest this weekend
The protest comes ahead of a mass demonstration where thousands are expected to march through Lewisham on Saturday (Jan 26) in a final show of opposition.
Campaigners are urging as many people as possible to come out and eclipse even the 15,000 estimated to have marched late last year.
Jos Bell from the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign said: "This is the big chance for the people of Lewisham and elsewhere who will be directly affected, whose families will be affected, whose life chances will be affected by these dangerous proposals, to show their opposition."
Protestors will meet at Loampit Vale at 12pm on Saturday before heading down past the hospital and gathering in Mountsfield Park.
Vist for details.

Five reasons to march on Saturday
- Lewisham Hospital was not even part of the health trust which went bust, but is paying the price.
- The consultation last year made no mention of selling off around half the hospital land.
- Lewisham would be left with one midwife-led maternity unit, despite having a rising birth rate.
- Winter has already seen pressure put on A&Es across the area. What will happen if another one closes?
- Following all the administrator's recommendations, apart from the Lewisham changes, would leave a shortfall of only £1.7m.
nearly right all the time says... 
5:08pm Tue 22 Jan 13
you voted Labour!

wasted all the money!

you had the olympics! (more money wasted)

you had the jubilee! (even more money wasted)

dont moan " `cos we are skint"
Simon bald says... 
6:31pm Tue 22 Jan 13
All those events especially the jubilee were fantastic for England,embrace them don't blame them for a hospital closure.
Peony says... 
7:51pm Tue 22 Jan 13
I hope these mums succeed, I really do. However I believe Mr. Hunt will toe the party line and agree to close maternity and A & E services in Lewisham. Mr. Hunt is in favour of selling off our NHS to his chums in big business. 

He co-wrote a book in 2005 called 'Direct Democracy'. Quote 'Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationlising the provision of health care in Britain'.

Seeing as he has accepted the poison chalice given to him by Cameron in the quise of Health Minister, he is not his own man but must do as he is told.