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[Dr William McCrea in the Chair] — Hospital Services (South London)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 22nd January 2013.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 9:30 am, 22nd January 2013

I thank my hon. Friend for giving way and I join Gareth Johnson in congratulating her on securing this debate.

On the impact on neighbouring hospitals, my hon. Friend will be aware of the importance—not only to local people but to London as a whole—of King’s College hospital. Is she also aware that the effective closing of maternity and A and E services at Lewisham hospital will hit like a tidal wave at King’s College hospital, because of the numbers of people involved. The health service estimate is that the number of people at King’s College A and E will increase by 45%. The staff at King’s College A and E do a very good job, but they will not be able to cope with a 45% increase in patients. The additional emergency admissions from that increased number of people at A and E will create such a strain on in-patient beds that the proposal is that in-patients—non-emergency admissions—will have to be shipped off to Farnborough hospital, which is an hour away on a bus and a train from Camberwell.

As for maternity services, the situation is even more pronounced, with a 54% increase envisaged in the number of women giving birth at King’s College hospital. The staff there simply cannot cope with that increase. At the moment, many women are turned away and told to go—guess where?—to Lewisham hospital.