To think that Jeremy Hunt is off his rocker to downgrade Lewisham Hospital?

(79 Posts)
showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jan-13 12:51:18

Lewisham Hospital is NOT a failing hospital and Lewisham is a densely populated part of London.

With the proposed measures, Lewisham Hospital will now be downgraded and will basically lose it's A & E department and the nearest A & E will be miles away in Woolwich.

Also the maternity unit will now solely be midwife led so that if you are unfortunate to need intervention, you will have to be bluelighted to ANOTHER hospital as opposed to now where you are simply taken to the main maternity ward.

Jeremy Hunt had said that there were four criteria that needed to be filled in order for something like this to happen of which Lewisham has not filled at all. Nobody has supported this downgrading at all.

This decision has now set a very dangerous precendence that will be continued up and down the country where it goes to show that in spite of public consultation that said a big fat resounding NO and with no support from doctors, a thriving hospital can be shut just because the Government says so.

pippibluestocking Thu 31-Jan-13 12:57:52

Yes, completely agree, but fear it is a done deal. There were muttering about closing the A&e at UHL several years ago when the A&e and maternity units were downgraded at Queen Marys Sidcup. My suspicion is that the financial problems at SLHT have just given the government the ideal opportunity to do what they have been planning for several years. Decision tomorrow - not hopeful Im afraid

Goodwordguide Thu 31-Jan-13 13:00:54

Totally agree, it's disgusting and I hope there's a legal challenge should the decision go against Lewisham.

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jan-13 13:03:28

I don't know if you're aware of it but the decision was made TODAY and the only "concession" that has been made is that there will still be an A & E at Lewisham but smaller. So it will still mean that Lewisham will be over-capacity for A & E patients and many will have to be sent elsewhere. Why do this when it's already performing well?

SaladIsMyFriend Thu 31-Jan-13 13:06:50

YANBU it's disgusting but I also fear it is a done deal.

Kings will not be able to cope with all the extra maternity patients in particular, it is often full to bursting on the maternity wards there as it is.

pippibluestocking Thu 31-Jan-13 13:11:17

Ah I didn't know, thought it was tomorrow. That is a way of closing the a&e without saying you're closing it. Staff will start looking for jobs elsewhere and no-one will apply for vacant position because of the insecurity over it's future; waits will grow due to staff shortages and downsizing of capacity; this will lead to less people using it and then hey presto, in several years time, someone will say " it's not well utilised so well downsize it again to a UCC. Disingenuous.

Its discrageful, our nearest A&E will either be Woolwich or Kings, both quite a way, and how are they meant to cope with the thousands of extra people. But I agree it was a done deal, all of our protests and marches were for nothing.

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jan-13 13:18:31

The A & E and Maternity Department are the highest performing parts of the hospital. Once these are downgraded, in effect the whole hospital is downgraded.

Apparently the ultimate aim is to close the hospital to sell off to property developers. What's the betting that the land has already been sold...

I'm utterly disgusted. I've moved now but QEH was our local for many years and ridiculously overcrowded as it was - I'm quite sure some of the many mistakes they made with my care with long term implications were due to this.

How closing Lewisham A&E and maternity is going to "help" the situation beggars belief.

I couldn't go to the demo but I answered the research questionnaire things and filled in petitions.. but what was the point sad

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jan-13 13:28:11

The consultation questionnaire was overlong and utterly impenetrable and though the overwhelming response was NO, they have now turned round and said: you were consulted and you didn't tell us what else we should no. Nowhere in the questionnaire did it ask us to do their job in thinking of alternatives.

Though apparently, one suggestion has been that Lewisham's management should take over QEH to improve it. This makes actual sense. Instead, what has happened is that the badly performing hospital has been "rewarded" for mismanagement and the good performing hospital is being downgraded!

Where is the logic in this? confused

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jan-13 13:29:11

Sorry, we should DO not no.

SaladIsMyFriend Thu 31-Jan-13 13:36:38

Aaaargh just seen the decision has been made today, I thought it was tomorrow.

sad and angry angry angry

drjohnsonscat Thu 31-Jan-13 13:36:45

I don't understand it. It could take ages to get to Woolwich from some parts of SE London that are served by Lewisham hosp. I wouldn't feel secure with that arrangement.

But agree that they were going to do this come hell or high water. How does Jeremy Hunt get away with it? His career should have been over after his management of the culture remit. Now his ludicrous comments about abortion, completely out of place for someone in his position, and then this. He is coming across as one of those politicians who has absolutely no interest in anything other than the Westminster village.

Inertia Thu 31-Jan-13 13:38:19

I'm appalled, and I don't live there. A well-performing hospital faces service cuts to bail out a mismanaged one, BUT - and this is the thing that gets me most of all - three-quarters of the money saved is going to be spent on administration for the changeover!

This government are canny- instead of coming in all blustery like Thatcher to privatise the NHS and schools, they are doing it by stealth. It's like death by a thousand paper cuts (is that the right phrase?). We get angry at all of these individual cuts and forced privatisation (aka sponsored academy status) of individual schools- one day we'll wake up and our NHS and state education system will be gone. I just hope the electorate throw the Tories out on their arses probably to take up directorships with the the companies running the privatised schools and hospitals come the next election.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 31-Jan-13 13:40:15

YANBU. People will die due to this closure. It's as simple as that.

I signed the petitions too, they are well aware of the local, and national outrage, but this government don't give a shit. They are hell bent on dismantling our NHS by any means necessary.

valiumredhead Thu 31-Jan-13 13:41:15

I had ds at Lewisham, it was a horrible place 11 years ago <unhelpful post>

SaladIsMyFriend Thu 31-Jan-13 13:49:14

It has massively improved in recent years Valium.

Is it odd that the Guardian are reporting this as the hospital "winning" a partial victory?

Won't be a victory for women in labour blue-lighted to Kings or elsewhere, where they are already regularly full to bursting in their maternity wards sad

QEH is also not very well served by public transport - you need to get a bus to get there from the rail station. It's a bit of a faff, especially if you're in a hurry and have no car. Lewisham at least is accessible from Ladywell, and Kings College has Denmark Hill.

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jan-13 14:10:51

Valium part of the reason why people don't understand this downgrading is that A LOT of money has gone into improving Lewisham's A & E and shiny Birthing Centre.

Murder, it also has to be factored in that Lewisham residents are one of the lowest car owning population!

Mamf74 Thu 31-Jan-13 14:17:49

Have they clarified what this means to the SLHT? I too agree that this has been on the cards for ages, I'm in the SLHT area and have had to go to Darent Valley for Gynae stuff as all the Gynae's of note left Queen Mary's years ago to move to Darent. I see the same now happening in Lewisham.

LadyWellian Thu 31-Jan-13 14:23:40

Arsing fuckbollocks. What a cunt. I heard Jeremy Hunt say in the House of Commons that he would 'not close any hospitals without proper local consultation and clinical support'. Given that this decision has had neither, I suppose this weaselly behaviour in 'downgrading' rather than 'closing' the A&E is his way of saying he wasn't actually lying through his teeth.

Sadly, in spite of all the campaigning and the excellent media coverage, it seems that the person who told me that shafting Lewisham was a foregone conclusion before the consultation was even launched, was right.

Excuse my language. blush

JakeBullet Thu 31-Jan-13 14:28:31

I would not trust any promises to improve the lives of normal people which are uttrred by this hateful shower we are lumbered with at the moment.

Yes Jeremy Kunt has lied through his teeth but do you know what......like the rest of these scumbags in power he doesn't give a toss.angry .

Mydelilah Thu 31-Jan-13 14:33:05

YANBU. I live in this area and am disgusted! Concur with all the anger expressed by other posters! What is the point of hospitals trying to improve if it means nothing and they still get cut in favour of poorer hospitals it just rewards incompetency in the NHS. And the safety of my family is put at risk by having reduced a&e services nearby

So angry about this I can hardly type. Have very little constructive to add but wanted to show support on the thread. Maybe Jeremy Weasel Hunt will get the message confused. Will there be an appeal?

showtunesgirl Thu 31-Jan-13 14:37:16

I believe a legal challenge is currently being formulated.

If you're not already following them, please find @savelewishamae on Twitter and also their FB page.

LadyWellian Thu 31-Jan-13 14:37:53

Ah now, hang on, I've just read the full text of the announcement here and they've basically implemented EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ONE OF THE RIDICULOUS RAIDS ON HEALTHCARE FOR THE PEOPLE OF LEWISHAM THAT THEY ORIGINALLY PROPOSED.

This is not downgrading an A&E - this is closing an A&E. And the state-of-the-art birthing centre. None of which have anything to do with SLHT, which is getting its debts paid off by the Department of Health as well as getting to keep its services.

Great consultation, eh?

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