The decision to downgrade Lewisham Hospital, announced today by the Secretary of State, is highly questionable and must be challenged by Judicial Review, says Cllr. Chris Maines, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Lewisham Council:
“While we welcome the modest concession won with the retention of some form of A&E at Lewisham Hospital, we are angry that the announcement ignored so many key factors.”
“The Secretary of State has ignored his own government’s four tests for approving changes to NHS services. He has ignored the opposition of Lewisham’s GP Commissioning Group to the TSA recommendations and, most importantly, he has ignored the huge outcry from the people of Lewisham – a community that has spoken out as one against these changes.”
Cllr Maines added:
“I cannot hide my anger at the way the concerns of thousands of Lewisham residents have been dismissed and I will not back any decision that does not have the support of the Lewisham GP Commissioning Group and the wider community. Downgrading the successful services in Lewisham to pay for failures elsewhere is a terrible precedent to set and undermines healthcare professionals throughout the NHS.
“Jeremy Hunt’s decision must be challenged by Judicial Review and Lewisham Lib Dems will work urgently with our fellow councillors from all parties to explore funding possibilities for such a challenge.
“In addition to continuing the fight for Lewisham Hospital, I will be calling on Liberal Democrats in Parliament to get the government to address the huge and costly failure of PFI projects which are now crippling the NHS.”