Candle-lit vigil held for Lewisham Hospital

Protesters outside Lewisham Hospital on November 24. Pic: Save Lewisham A&E

A dramatic candle-lit vigil will be staged this evening to mark the final day of consultation over the planned closure of maternity and A&E units at Lewisham Hospital.

Hundreds of people opposed to the closure are expected to gather outside the hospital to display banners telling their personal stories and show their rejection of Matthew Kershaw’s proposals.

Chinese lanterns will be released into the sky, ‘to remember everything the NHS has done for us’.

Over the past month, Lewisham has become a hive of activity and protest with campaign groups, residents, hospital workers and MPs uniting in the fight to save their hospital.

Since the consultation period began on November 2, numerous public meetings have been held, culminating in a heated debate with the Trust Special Administrator and the presentation of a petition with over 30,000 signatures to Downing Street.

On November 24, Lewisham Hospital and Ladywell Fields were surrounded by a protest of 15,000 people, with everyone defying the bad weather to demonstrate and hold hands around their hospital.

Today’s demonstration will begin at 4pm, when residents will gather with their banners outside the front of the hospital. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the three-hour event, which will include entertainment from street-art musicians ‘Les Zoing’ who also attended the protest.

At 6pm, there will even be a ‘ceremonial burning’ of copies of the draft report to symbolise the borough’s distress at potentially losing two key units of the hospital.

The public has until 11:59pm tonight to send in their response to the TSA and make their voice heard before Kershaw prepares his final report.

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