Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lewisham on the agenda of BBC Question Time in New Cross

BBC's Question Time programme was broadcast from Goldsmiths great hall in New Cross tonight, with panellists including Labour's John Prescott, Tory MP Nadine Dorries, Big Issue founder John Bird,  Lib Dem Ed Davey and Times columnist Camilla Cavendish.

Before the programme got under way there was a noisy protest outside with a couple of hundred people speaking up about the biggest issue locally - the planned closure of emergency and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital.

Lewisham Hospital became the dominant issue on the programme itself. Kate Hennessy kicked off the debate by asking 'David Cameron claimed the NHS was safe in his hands, given the cuts and closures around the country is this still the case?' For this she got a huge cheer from the audience, prompting David Dimbleby to explain for the benefit of TV viewers that Lewisham Hospital services were under threat.  All the panellists mentioned Lewisham specifically, and indeed there were several mentions of the protest outside the programme. Interestingly, even Davey (a Government minister) appeared to give his backing to the campaign against closures while Dorries said: 'I hope it is saved'. A supplementary question gave full vent to local anger, explaining how the views of clinicians, GPs and the community had been ignored. Local paediatrician Dr Ajay Sharma, from the audience, criticised the Lewisham plans and the wider changes the Government was introducing into the NHS. So Lewisham Hospital is now firmly on the national policy agenda - where it belongs -  as a key test of whether the NHS is safe or not.

(see also Brockley Central report)

Don't forget next step in the campaign to save Lewisham Hospital - the demonstration on 26th January (discussed in more detail here)


Anonymous said...

Excellent work done by local campaigners to ensure coverage on BBC Question Time

Lets see what happens now Dorries will want to be a star - But Hunt will do nothing because civil servants want to close Lewisham and other A&E Depts.

I see on tonight London Tonight plans by the Tories to close Epsom and St Helier A&E and Maternity Unit

We need to link up the A&E fights.

we need more direct action

That means taking to the streets, blocading roads, occupying NHS offices (not ward areas) is totally right so long as lives are not put at risk

Kershaws office is a legitimate target

Onward to the Saturday 26th January - Invite reps from other London A&E campaigns and why not even those in the CGT in Paris fighting closurers

Lewisham can do this !!!!

Anonymous said...

Interrupt the bureaucracy machine – occupy offices – protests outside UK Uncut statistics – stats on wages of bureaucrats making decisions, pics of houses

Locksmith Lewisham said...

We need to link up the A&E fights.