by [email protected] Jan 22nd, 2013
Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, is considering closing vital services at Lewisham hospital, which could leave 750,000 people with just one casualty department between them.
If Hunt decides to close these services, the same could happen to many other hospitals. Lewisham hospital is well-performing and financially sound. But Jeremy Hunt is under political pressure to close the services, even though patients, doctors and some of Lewisham’s health chiefs are against the plans.
Together, we can make this a test for Hunt. He’s been working hard to present himself as the voice of patients. If thousands of us email him to oppose the plans, he’ll be under huge pressure to prove he listens to patients and keep services open.
Already the people of Lewisham and the surrounding area have taken to the streets in their thousands to save their A&E, intensive care and maternity units. We could ramp up the pressure on Jeremy Hunt if thousands of us email him directly. We can make him think twice about overruling patients, doctors and local health chiefs.
We all rely on NHS services to be there to help us when we’re most in need. If these hospital services close, patients will have to travel further and queue longer. Other nearby hospitals are already stretched – just recently ambulances have been diverted to Lewisham hospital to pick up the slack.
Last week we had a brilliant NHS breakthrough. Monitor, the NHS competition watchdog, listened to public pressure not to let private healthcare companies avoid corporation tax.
This happened after tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members emailed them to object to the proposed tax breaks. Now we can do the same with Jeremy Hunt – add your voice now.
If you want to get more involved, campaigners from ‘Save Lewisham A&E’ have organised a march to save these vital hospital services on Saturday 26th January.  We’ll be meeting outside the The Anglican Parish Church of Saint Stephen and Saint Mark, Lewisham High Street, London, SE13 5AJ at 11.30am. Are you free to come along too?
Please pop the office team an email so we have enough placards for everyone: firstname.lastname@example.org. See you there!