Today, Matthew Kershaw, the Trust Special Administrator appointed to sort out the insolve South London Healthcare Trust published his final report. Amongst many other recommends, he proposes the ‘coming together’ of Lewisham Healthcare with Greenwich Healthcare, and the downgrading of University Hospital Lewisham’s maternity and A&E units.
These proposals offer little change from the interim report put through a very short and limited public consultation last month. But amazingly, Mr Kershaw has been quoted as saying that none of the over 8,000 responses to the consultation suggested any alternatives to his plans.
Not only is this frankly unbelievable given the strength of feeling locally, it is also untrue – like many other local campaigners and organisations, Lewisham Lib Dems and Lib Dem councillors in Lewisham responded to the consultation to highlight how his proposals to unit Lewisham hospital with other SE London Trusts were throwing good money after bad, and other ideas were possible.
Unfortunately for Mr Kershaw, his unwillingness to provide options for dealing with the problems of South London Healthcare shows how thin the ice is on which he stands – he has acted beyond his remit by including Lewisham healthcare in his proposals and including only one option in his report looks like an attempt to justify this.