When a Member has 12,280 petitioners in their constituency, they do not have to be particularly wise to know that they have a lot of disenchanted, disappointed or angry people. What makes matters even worse is the fact that this particular petition is on the subject of the national health service, where the Government have done extremely good work, and that it revolves around the current Darzi proposals, which will undoubtedly bring overall improvement to the country as a whole. Unfortunately, however, because of the way the consultation procedure is being carried out, we now have more than 12,000 people who are up in arms about the situation they find themselves in, and who are very worried about the way the national health provisions will affect them. I shall read out the petition in the hope that the Secretary of State will take due note.
The petition states:
The Petition of residents of Sunderland and others,
Declares that they support their doctors in urging the Government to listen to local people and invest in every practice in their city to improve the health care of all patients in Sunderland, rather than in a small number of new practices which may benefit only a small percentage of the population.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Health to review and further invest in the funding of all NHS GP practices in Sunderland to ensure that health care improvements benefit the whole population
And the Petitioners remain, etc.