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25,000 march against Lewisham A&E closure and the decline of ‘man boob’ surgery

Nurses who starred in the Olympic opening ceremony and drummers from Danny Boyle’s Olympic pageant took part in a large demonstration against plans to cut A&E and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital over the weekend.

The Guardian reports that 25,000 marched in the protest on Saturday, with the larger-than-expected turnout demonstrating the strength of feeling the plans have raised.

A Government-appointed administrator has recommended that the units close to help solve the crisis at debt-mired South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT). Campaigners are furious that services at Lewisham, which is not part of the trust and is financially sound, are being targeted to make savings at SLHT, while some doctors at the hospital have dismissed the scheme as ‘financial madness’. The Government, however, insists that ‘doing nothing is not an option’ and will make a decision on 1 February.

Also in the Guardian, a report has warned that hospitals are risking a repeat of the Mid Staffs scandal by failing to scrutinise mistakes and neglect by staff to improve the quality of care.

The report from the Patients Association accuses some hospitals of dangerous complacency for not having implemented a series of recommendations aimed at improving the health service’s much-criticised way of handling complaints. It said many staff do not receive enough training in how to deal with complaints, and that hospitals do too little to help patients raise concerns and do not see complaints as opportunities to improve.

It comes as the NHS awaits the Francis report into care failures at Stafford hospital, due to be published next week.

And finally, the BBC reveals that the number of ‘moob’ operations has fallen by a fifth over the past year.

Data released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) shows that the overall number of surgical procedures carried out by its 230 surgeons was stable last year, at 43,172.

But there were only 642 operations on moobs - ‘man boobs’ - down 18% from 2011. Women had more procedures to inject fat than to remove it for the first time. Eye lid surgery as well as face and neck-lift operations both soared in popularity among both sexes in 2012.

Breast augmentation was again the most common procedure in the UK with 9,843 going under the knife. But that represents a fall of 1.6% on the previous year, which was put down to the health scare around PIP breast implants.

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