Saturday, 2 February 2013

The campaign to save Lewisham Hospital fights on!

Dear Andy Burnham,

My name is Jessica Ormerod. I am a Lewisham resident, mother of three 
and chair of the Lewisham maternity service committee. Our committee 
represents all maternity users in the borough of Lewisham. We work with 
senior clinicians, managers and commissioners to shape maternity 
services locally.

I congratulate you on your response to Jeremy Hunt in parliament 
yesterday. I am a member of the Labour Party and as such am incredibly 
proud that all three Lewisham MPs have tirelessly campaigned to protect 
our successful and solvent hospital.

Women in Lewisham are outraged by Jeremy Hunt's decision to accept 
Matthew Kershaw's recommendations in full. The down-graded Accident and 
Emergency department is no more than a confusing and obfuscatory charade 
to blind people to the fact that level three acute services will no 
longer be available within the borough of Lewisham.

You are absolutely right that the reconfiguration planned for SLHT and 
LHT sets a dangerous and alarming precedent for the entire NHS. If a 
successful and solvent hospital such as Lewisham can be sacrificed to 
bail out a neighbouring trust no hospital in the country is safe.

Jeremy Hunt's decision to accept Matthew Kershaw's recommendations mean 
that Lewisham mothers will be denied the choice to give birth locally 
with the support of obstetricians. Women have told our committee that 
even if they are deemed fit to use the facility (and the vast majority 
of women in Lewisham will not be able to even consider giving birth in a 
midwife led unit), they would not want to run the risk of a blue-light 
transfer. Women understand that childbirth is unpredictable: when a 
doctor is required they are required quickly.

Therefore, we ask you to take this to the highest level. This coalition 
will oversee the wholesale destruction of the NHS if a serious and 
coordinated opposition is not set against their idealogical vendetta 
which has no electoral mandate.

It is a moral outrage that acute services can be removed from an entire 
London borough with a population of 250,000.

Yours sincerely,

Jessica Ormerod

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