HC Deb 24 March 2003 vol 402 c128 10.14 pm
Mr. James Gray (North Wiltshire)

I have the honour to present a petition signed by 2,366 residents of the ancient town of Malmesbury, the oldest borough in England. They are not unnaturally concerned about the indifference of the Department of Health to their inherited debt from the local primary care trust, which may well result in the closure of, or suspension of, some of the services of Malmesbury community hospital.

The petition states: To the House of Commons The Petition of the people of the Malmesbury and North Wiltshire communities declares That the intention of the Kennet and North Wiltshire NHS Primary Care Trust is to close Malmesbury community hospital; to divert elsewhere those essential local resources in contradiction of the Government policy of encouraging the provision of community hospital facilities; thereby to remove the availability from the local community of health care provided for the elderly and the infirm, who are the main patient case of the 19-bed paediatric care hospital.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons prevents the Kennet and North Wiltshire NHS Care Trust from closing Malmesbury Community Hospital thereby forcing local elderly and infirm patients to be hospitalised outside their local community and that the House of Commons direct that the PCT should continue to provide these essential services locally, under their statutory Duty of Care responsibilities. And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.

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