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Protesters turn out in force for Lewisham A&E ahead of SLHT decision

PUBLISHED: 13:52 29 January 2013 | UPDATED: 13:52 29 January 2013

Protesters taking part in a demonstration against the possible closure of their local A&E and maternity services, at Lewisham Hospital in south-east London.

Protesters taking part in a demonstration against the possible closure of their local A&E and maternity services, at Lewisham Hospital in south-east London.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

More than 25,000 protesters turned out in force in a bid to save Lewisham Hospital's A&E department on Saturday.

The department has been earmarked for closure by administrator Matthew Kershaw in changes to south London’s health services linked to the financially-stricken South London Healthcare Trust (SLHT), which includes the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough.

Lewisham’s A&E shutting might have consequences for Bromley residents.

Some patients who would have travelled to Lewisham Hospital are now likely to go to the Princess Royal, alongside the extra intake of Bexley residents after Sidcup’s Queen Mary’s Hospital A&E closed in 2010.

Campaigners are angry at the perceived injustice of closing facilities at a well-run site to help out the failing trust, which Lewisham Hospital is not part of, particularly as its A&E recently received a £12m revamp.

SLHT has been losing around £1.3 million a week mainly thanks to the private finance initiative which saw the trust formed. Its overall deficit is thought to be over £150m.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to release his final report on Mr Kershaw’s recommendations on Friday.

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