Message from Heidi Alexander (and see below for message from Louise Irvine)
Thank you again if you signed the petition to save Lewisham Hospital’s A&E and maternity department, which I presented to No. 10 just before Christmas. Over 35,000 people have now signed the petition, and together we are sending a loud and clear message that we strongly oppose the plans for closure.
Despite this, we learnt this week that the Special Administrator appointed to the South London Healthcare Trust has formally recommended to Government that both A&E and maternity services at Lewisham should close. He proposes to replace them with an urgent care centre and a midwife-led birthing unit.
Many people – including me – feel badly let down by the so-called consultation process that has taken place. It is sheer madness to be shutting down services at a solvent, successful hospital in order to deal with financial problems elsewhere. I am also extremely concerned about the inadequate services that will be left for South East London – just this week the two closest maternity units, at Queen Elizabeth, Woolwich and Kings, had to turn away pregnant women in labour as they were at capacity.
But this is not a done deal, and together we must keep up the fight.
The Health Secretary is currently considering these proposals, and will be announcing his decision on 1st February. Along with my parliamentary colleagues Dame Joan Ruddock and Jim Dowd, I will be doing all that I can to convince the Health Secretary of the case against these proposals. But we need your help.
Between now and 1st February, please do all that you can to help the campaign. If you have 5 minutes or 5 days, there are lots of ways you can get involved. At the bottom of this email, there are specific contacts and things you can do to help – for example, leafleting, making placards or being a steward at campaign events.
If you can only spare a little time, please do the following:
1. Protest against the proposals. The Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign have organised a second peaceful demonstration on Saturday 26th January. Assemble at Lewisham Roundabout (by the station) at 12, before we march past the hospital to Mountsfield Park for a rally, music and giant petition. I will be speaking at the rally.
2. Let the Secretary of State know what you think by sending your views directly to him. Email Jeremy Hunt on firstname.lastname@example.org or write to him at Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health, Department for Health, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS
3. Forward this email on to your friends. Spread the word about the campaign! This does not only affect the people of Lewisham, and Mr Hunt needs to know that people across South East London are not prepared to accept these recommendations and have their services and their safety compromised.
The campaign to Save Lewisham Hospital is far from over. We must be prepared to step up and make our voices heard. I hope we can count upon your support.
Heidi Alexander MP
Labour MP for Lewisham East
WE NEED TO MARCH AGAIN!
Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign update from Dr Louise Irvine (Campaign Chair)
We have organised another demonstration on Saturday 26th January. The TSA Matthew Kershaw handed in his report to Jeremy Hunt which shows that he has not listened at all to the views of Lewisham people, local GPs, hospital doctors and health workers, the Council and Churches.
The decision on the future of Lewisham A&E and maternity is due at the start of February. We must keep up the pressure.
10,000 people marched through Lewisham on 24th November 2012 – young, elderly, families and people from every background. WE NEED A HUGE TURNOUT. We need to GET YOU AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW to come and march with us on Saturday 26th January:
The demo will assemble at Lewisham Roundabout (by the station) at 12 noon on Saturday 26th January. We will march past our hospital to Mountsfield Park where there will be a rally, music and a giant petition. You can see further information and download the leaflet from here
We need a lot of help in the build up to the demo and on the day. See below for a list of ways you can get involved.
*STEWARDING We have an urgent need for people to volunteer as stewards for the demo– contact Helen at GrgHallam@aol.com
* SHOPPING CENTRE STALLS AND LEAFLETING – contact Barbara atBarbara_veale@hotmail.co.uk
Saturday 12th January and Saturday 19th January:
Lewisham Riverdale Centre, main entrance 10am – 4pm
Catford Shopping Centre (under the cat) 11am – 3 pm
Deptford High St 10am onwards
* BIG RED BUS – this is going round LEWISHAM AND SOUTH LONDON BOROUGHS we need people to travel on the bus and give out leaflets etc. If you want to help on the bus meet at 9:30am Saturday 12 January or Saturday 19 January Elmira Street, Cornmill Gardens by the old Lewisham Bridge School.
* LEAFLETING AT FOOTBALL MATCHES – contact Pat at email@example.com
This Saturday 12th help leaflet Charlton Football Match, The Valley Club, meet outside club shop, Floyd Rd, SE7 8BL at 1.30pm. (next week, Saturday 19th Millwall– details available from Pat)
* IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAFLET YOUR STREET – contact Simone at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leaflets for you to distribute locally on your street, schools, and localities can be collected from the The Saville Day Centre (the pensioners forum office), 436 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6LJ
* ASK YOUR GP PRACTICE to take fliers and posters – contact Louise at email@example.com
* MAKING PLACARDS – contact Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org
* HELPING WITH THE RALLY/EVENT after the march – contact Jill at email@example.com and Simone firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have contacts with specific groups in the community please contact the following people
* PENSIONERS – contact Tamsin at email@example.com
* SCHOOLS – contact Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org
* CHURCHES – contact Gillian at email@example.com
OR you can email us directly firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on our‘How you can help’ page
We look forward to seeing you on 26th January but hopefully before.
- JOIN the Facebook event – INVITE your friends and SHARE the event page! And ‘like’ the official campaign Facebook
- Tweet about the event – Come to the@SaveLewishamAE Demo through Lewisham and Catford on Saturday 26th January!http://on.fb.me/Z4jpRI #LewishamDemo26Jan
- If write your own blog or any other ways you can help promote the Demo or the campaign, please get in touch.