27 January 2013
On Saturday 26th February 25,000 people marched through Lewisham to Save Lewisham
Hospital – hospital workers led the demonstration. Feeder marches came from Goldsmiths University, and fire fighters marched with their FBU banner from the local Fire Stations that are facing closure. Trade Union banners were prominent including: UNISON, UNITE, and GMB.
The South London Health Trust (SLHT), which does not include Lewisham Hospital, covers the hospitals at Woolwich, Bromley and Bexley – they are losing over £1.3 million a week due to PFI debts. Matthew Kershew was put in place as a Trust Special Administrator to come up with a plan to solve the financial crisis – he spent 5 million on glossy brochures and a sham consultation, that served to anger Lewisham residents, telling us that our hospital which is highly esteemed, should close when we have just had a new A&E built for £12 million.
We are due to hear at the beginning of February the decision of Jeremy Hunt, the Minister for Health – on that day the Campaign will hold a Rally outside Lewisham Hospital at 6pm – we are calling on people to come whatever the decision that is made as the Fight will continue.
On the 16th February, when Hammersmith and Kingston March for their A&E’s, Lewisham will also hold an Event in our Town Centre.
Matt Wrack, FBU Union speaker at the Rally, spoke about occupations of workplaces. We need to keep up the pressure on the Union Leaders to call effective Industrial Action that can stop the closure of our hospitals and to stop the privatisation of the NHS.
Lewisham Trade Unionists in Unite The Resistance are looking to host a Public Meeting in the next few months to further build trade union links on the ground.
Lewisham Mental Health Worker & UNITE Rep (pc)