Lewisham Hospital's A&E is being threatened with closure. Not because it is failing - almost the reverse. It is doing really well, and has recently been renovated. No, because the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich is bankrupt, the administrator wants to close Lewisham to drive more business to the Queen Elizabeth, meaning they get more funding!
Lewisham Hospital serves a borough with a large population - nearly 250,000 people - as well as taking in people from surrounding boroughs if, for whatever reason, they can't go to their local hospitals.
If Lewisham A&E closes, its maternity and ICU services will be reduced as emergency care on site won't be possible.
If Lewisham A&E closes, people will have to travel further on public transport to get to other hospitals - the QE or Kings College Hospital. The QE, for me, is an hour by buses, and then a 10 minute walk. If I'm sick enough to need to go to A&E, I don't want to have to sit on one bus for 20 minutes, wait at a bus stop, sit on another bus for 20 minutes, and then walk 10-20 minutes from the bus stop to the A&E department. Kings is a great hospital, but it already serves a large population, and is already very busy and overstretched.
How many people will end up more impaired by extended waits to get to A&E? Strokes, heart attacks, loss of blood - these things need very rapid treatment. An ambulance taking 15 minutes longer to get someone to hospital reduces survival rates by a huge amount, and those who do survive are likely to have poorer outcomes and live with unnecessary impairment afterward.
You can help. Go here: http://www.savelewishamhospital.com/how-to-respond-to-tsa/ and respond to the consultation as advised - we have only two weeks to do this.
All consultation documents, including Easy Read are here: http://www.tsa.nhs.uk/document-downloads