High Court Overturns Decision To Downgrade Lewisham Hospital

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 66 months ago
High Court Overturns Decision To Downgrade Lewisham Hospital

lewishamhospital_310713The decision to downgrade Lewisham Hospital's A&E and maternity services has been overturned by the High Court today.

Lewisham Council and campaigners took the government to court because they believed the Trust Special Adminstrator (TSA), appointed to oversee a solution to South London Health Trust's financial problems, overstepped his authority by including Lewisham in the reorganisation. Lewisham is a separate NHS trust and wasn't part of the TSA's original remit.

However, the final report recommended downgrading Lewisham to an Urgent Care Centre and cutting maternity services to the point where it would only be able to handle 10% of current births – basically to funnel patients to Woolwich (part of SLHT) and boost finances there. Local GPs were against the move and locals were understandably furious, feeling that Lewisham was being punished for another trust's mistakes.

The judge, Mr Justice Siber, agreed that the TSA had no legal basis to include Lewisham in the plans and that Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State, acted outside his powers in deciding to implement them. But the Department of Health has been granted leave to appeal, so Lewisham isn't out of the woods yet.

Photo by Andy Worthington from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 31 July 2013