§ 10.9 pm
§ Mr. Christopher Chope (Christchurch)
I wish to present a petition from thousands of health workers in Dorset which is also supported by the Dorset Healthcare NHS trust and all my parliamentary colleagues in Dorset. The petitioners complain that when they were part of the Wessex health authority they were eligible for a cost of living supplement, which they enjoyed with their colleagues from Wiltshire and Hampshire, whereas now, as a result of changes made by the Government, although nurses and health workers in Wiltshire and Hampshire remain eligible for a cost of living supplement, it has been taken away from those in Dorset. It is no exaggeration to say that Dorset health workers and their supporters are extremely angry about that and want the Government to think again.
The petition states:This is absolutely unacceptable having regard to the cost of living in Dorset and will result in an exacerbation of the shortfall of nurses both in the community and hospitals in Dorset.Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House shall urge the Government to include Dorset within those areas eligible for the cost of living supplement for National Health Service employees.And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.To lie upon the Table.