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Hospital March: Some useful background information
Friday, 25 January 2013
FOLLOWING a meeting of the Brockley Assembly on Thursday our reporter Kate Gould was told by several people in the audience that they were unaware of some of the stats relating to proposals to close Lewisham Hospital A&E, maternity and children’s A&E departments.
Five South London MPs have written a letter to health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP with some of those figures and we are publishing that letter here so people joining tomorrow's protest march through Lewisham tomorrow are armed with some of the important facts.
The Letter read: “Thank you for meeting with us and other South London MPs on Monday 14th January. We had not hitherto been given clear figures about the impact of the proposed closure of Lewisham’s A&E and maternity services on patients of King’s College Hospital (King’s). But hearing the discussion at the meeting and with the emergence of further estimates of what will happen following the closure of Lewisham’s A&E and maternity services, it is now evident to us that closure would be very bad for King’s - all the patients who use it and the staff who work in it.”
Accident & Emergency:
“It is now acknowledged that most of the patients who would otherwise have used Lewisham A&E will come to King’s. This will have a major impact on the service provided in King’s A&E. It simply will not be possible to maintain the high standard of service which King’s seeks to provide in A&E, and in particular in paediatric A&E.
“We estimate the following, based on NHS figures: 54 per cent of patients - or 65,000 people - who would otherwise have gone to Lewisham will come to King’s A&E - that is an increase of almost 45 per cent for King’s A&E. As it is, there is a small but concerning increase in waiting times at King’s A&E. If Lewisham A&E closes it is inconceivable that King’s would be able to maintain what is a much improved service for our constituents.”
Pressure on inpatient services:
“Of those 65,000 extra A&E patients approximately 12,200 will be likely to be admitted to King’s as emergencies - that is an almost 45 per cent increase in emergency admissions at King’s.
“That will place a further pressure on inpatient beds at a time when King’s management have raised with us their concerns about capacity at King’s. They say they are already looking to take on extra capacity at Princess Royal in Bromley to deal with outpatients and non-emergency admissions. To accommodate the additional emergency admissions even more non-emergency admissions will have to be moved out of King’s to Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley.
“For our constituents - many of whom do not own a car - the journey from Camberwell to Princess Royal in Bromley would mean a journey of at least a bus and a train lasting more than an hour and costing £5.50.”
“We estimate that if Lewisham maternity services close then there will be 3,235 more births at King’s to add to the existing 6,000 births, an increase of 54 per cent of births at King’s. There is simply not the capacity at King’s for a 54 per cent increase in births. It would not be fair on the mothers, the babies or the staff. There are already mothers who want to give birth at King’s who have to go elsewhere - some are referred to Lewisham.”
The letter concludes: “So we want to make clear that we are totally opposed to the Lewisham A&E and maternity closures and would be grateful if you would place proper weight on the representations of us as 'King's MPs' on behalf of our constituents.”
The letter was signed by Harriet Harman MP, Camberwell and Peckham Kate Hoey MP, Vauxhall Simon Hughes MP, Bermondsey & Old Southwark Tessa Jowell MP, Dulwich and West Norwood Chuka Umunna MP, Streatham
All content © of South London Press unless stated otherwise.
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