Lewisham’s Labour Politicians on A Picture of Health

I’ve just been sent the letter that has been signed by all three MPs, the Mayor, Chair of Labour Group, and Len Duval, our GLA representative, about the A Picture of Health consultation being carried out by the NHS locally.

Our politicians say:

As your Labour elected representatives in Lewisham, we all agree that we have a responsibility to ensure that Lewisham residents continue to enjoy the best Health Care the NHS can provide.

Our starting point is simple. We all understand that the options set out in “A Picture of Health” would lead to changes in the services provided at University Hospital Lewisham (UHL) and in-patient maternity services, paediatrics and the Accident and Emergency department would be at risk.

We agree with the clinicians view outlined in the report that patients should be treated closer to their homes and that this should be coupled with developing hospital based homes services and urgent care centres as soon as possible.

However, we strongly disagree with the assumption that Lewisham belongs in Outer South East London an area “coined” by the “Picture of Health” consultation documents. This is a fundamental error and would be at odds with our residents’ sense of where they live.

We strongly assert that we are part of the inner South East quadrant of London and identify far more with our neighbouring boroughs Southwark and Lambeth. We think that our residents would identify far more with Kings and St Thomas’s when seeking out their health care needs and making their choices.
We will also argue for keeping an Accident and Emergency service in Lewisham capable of dealing with all cases except those requiring highly specialised care; the retention of the excellent regional paediatric unit and the retention of doctor led maternity care, while also seeking to improve safety for mothers and babies and addressing significant staff shortages in this area.

All residents who share our concerns about the future of Hospital services in Lewisham are encouraged to respond to this consultation by the 7th April.

My understanding is that all of the political parties represented on the council take a broadly similar view, but I’m happy to stand corrected should that not be the case.

Should you want to go an make your case to the NHS in person they are holding a drop in session on 28th February between 2pm and 8pm at Lewisham Methodist Church Hall on Albion Way, SE13 6BT.

I also know that the council’s Health Select Committee (working with their scrutiny colleagues across the consultation area) will be looking at the proposals as part of their statutory duty to examine significant changes to health provision.

Whether they will be calling for evidence isn’t clear from my attempts to find out what they’re doing through the council’s website – which seems to be temporarily out of action as I write.


About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
This entry was posted in Lewisham, Lewisham's Politicians and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Lewisham’s Labour Politicians on A Picture of Health

  1. Max says:

    The Mayor complains that a consultation proposes a creative coinage of arbitrary boundaries to justify ill-informed policies.
    Now, why does that sound ironic?

  2. Max says:

    The Mayor complains that a consultation proposes a creative coinage of arbitrary boundaries to justify ill-informed policies.
    Now, why does that sound ironic?

  3. Andrew Brown says:

    Such a profound thought you had to say it twice Max?

  4. Max says:

    No, I just went back and pushed the button a second time because of a false alarm from the browser. But I did smile with both corners of the mouth.
    Admittedly not very profound but still quite ironic;-)

  5. Sue Luxton says:

    There is a Facebook group about this, and a few Labour faces (and anybody else of course!) on it would be welcome: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8730326481.

  6. kate says:

    I still havent seen the picture of health paperwork…most definately not being delivered to my area.

  7. Lone Ranger says:

    Meanwhile when not writing letters to the press the Mayor is comtemplating the following in next year’s council budget….


    Saving Proposal £171k (Corporate Priority G)
    6.2.1 It is proposed to reduce the social worker establishment at Lewisham
    Hospital by 3 social workers, from the current level of 6. The remaining
    resource could continue to deliver the core service. Back-up for absent
    staff will be provided by Laurence House.

  8. Iain Kaye says:

    Lone Ranger, this budget saving can be made because Lewisham Hospital are putting in more front line staff to provide suitable care for people at the hospital.

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