I rise to present a second petition, also on hospital cuts in my constituency. The petition states:
The petition of the people of Teesdale and surrounding areas,
Declares that Richardson hospital is a vital and much used resource for the people of Teesdale, an area with very limited public transport, and it should not have its services reduced either by the closure of wards, the removal of equipment or the reduction of its staff team.
The petitioners therefore urge the House of Commons to ask County Durham & Darlington Foundation Trust to guarantee these services for the next 10 years.
And the petitioners remain, etc.
Some 3,500 people have signed these two petitions, and I am grateful to many of my constituents for collecting the signatures, particularly Judi Sutherland, who lives in Barnard Castle. In both cases, the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has made temporary closures, at Bishop Auckland to breast screening and maternity services and in Barnard Castle to one ward. Consultation was followed by an immediate decision. This is not acceptable, and it is why the residents would like the trust to think again.