The closure of the Beckenham Beacon is amongst the proposals announced this week in response to the financial difficulties of the South London Health Care Trust. People living in the Penge area will also be effected by a proposal to close the Accident and Emergency Department at Lewisham Hospital.
The proposal means that the outpatient and diagnostic services currently provided at the Beacon would be transferred to the PRU at Farnborough. Has the report author ever tried to get to the PRU in a hurry from here?
It is even worse for many people in Penge and Cator, where Lewisham is the first choice for A&E services, as it is nearer and easier to get to than other local hospitals. The report suggests that Lewisham A&E should be closed and we should use Woolwich Hospital instead. I dont think I know how to get to Woolwich. Maternity services at Lewisham are also being considered for downgrading.
These proposals have not been made in the interests of the people who use The Beacon or Lewisham Hospital but in an attempt to resolve the serious financial problems at hospitals in Woolwich, Sidcup and at the PRU in Farnborough.
We are extremely concerned about these proposals. We cannot afford to lose one of these first class faciltities, yet alone both. The A&E departments at other hospitals, such as Kings are already at capacity. The services at the Beacon and at Lewisham Hospital are absolutely vital to more than 250,000 residents across Lewisham and Penge.
Lewisham MP, Heidi Alexander, has set up an online petition against the Lewisham proposals. The link is www.heidialexander.org.uk but we need to galvanise all our local MPs and Bromley Council to stop these harmful proposals going through.