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I am delighted to present a petition on the biggest issue I have had to deal with since becoming a Member of Parliament. More than 4,000 people have signed the petition, and the leading three signatories are Mr. Colin Wright and Mr. Richard Lewis, respectively the leader and deputy leader of Rushden town council, and Councillor Andy Mercer, the leader of East Northamptonshire council. The petition concerns the closure of an out-patients facility in my constituency and the moving of it to a town some distance away.
The petition states:
The Humble Petition of residents of Rushden, Northamptonshire and surrounding areas,
Sheweth that the plans to close the hospital outpatients facility at the Rushden Memorial Clinic and replace them with a facility outside of Rushden is unacceptable; further sheweth that the Rushden Memorial Clinic was paid for by the people of Rushden to serve the health needs of the people of Rushden; and believes that Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust should not be removing the only outpatient facility from the biggest town in East Northamptonshire to a small town with no adequate public transport.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House urges the Secretary of State for Health to require Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to review its decision and to build an enhanced outpatient facility in Rushden in line with the local NHS's own weighted criteria.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. etc.
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