Law firm backing Grantham A&E campaign helped save Lewisham Hospital services

Last Wednesday's protest outside Grantham Hospital saw Coun Ian Selby dressed as the Grim Reaper to make his point clear.
Last Wednesday's protest outside Grantham Hospital saw Coun Ian Selby dressed as the Grim Reaper to make his point clear.
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The law firm representing the case of SOS Grantham Hospital against the night closure of Grantham A&E successfully kept open hospital services under threat in 2013.

Leigh Day represented the successful campaign to keep open Lewisham Hospital A&E and maternity departments. A decision at the High Court found that Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt had acted unlawfully when he decided to substantially cut services and close departments at the London hospital.

It had been proposed that the hospital should close and downgrade some of its services, including its A&E department, acute admitting wards and adult Intensive Care Unit.

But a judge in the High Court said Mr Hunt was acting outside his powers when he tried to downgrade and close departments at Lewisham.

Rosa Curling, human rights solicitor at Leigh Day, represented the campaign group which fought to keep services open at Lewisham. She now represents SOS Grantham Hospital.

Ms Curling said the decision to close Grantham Hospital A&E overnight was ‘unlawful’.

The law firm says Mr Hunt has given advice to NHS trusts which says patients should be involved in any decision which affects hospital services.

Ms Curling said the decision “was taken without proper patient involvement. Any decision to close an A&E department at a popular local hospital is a serious decision that clearly requires a proper consultation process.”

United Lincolnshire Hospital NHS Trust says as it had to act fast and partially close the A&E temporarily there was no time for any consultation.