I live one mile from Lewisham Hospital. The "consultation" process has been a total farce. These proposals are cuts pure and simple. Patients' health will suffer as a consequence but the people making these crazy decisions will not be held accountable.
The problem of unsuitable patient visits to A&E is the rolling programme of closures of nurse led NHS Walk-In Centres. One recent example in East London saw a WIC closure with a fractional transfer of staff to a local A&E. The local A&E was happy to absorb the funding, but not so keen on the 70+ per day walk-in patients seeking primary care. The alternative WIC sites were some distance away and working GP surgery hours.
Mr Lansley seems unaware of the planning by GPs to close down nurse led NHS Walk-In Centres. These centres were open because the public could not get reasonable access to GP Practices. The cost of a patient visiting and receiving clinical consultation at a WIC is less than a GP consultation, yet the Coalition Government is handing control over to the GPs?! Many of the carefully trained nurse teams will be disbanded.