A PETITION of more than 1,500 signatures was presented to Bromley health representatives in support of NHS services.

Fifteen members of national campaigning group 38 Degrees delivered the document to Bromley Clinical Commissioning Board Chair Dr Andrew Parson on January 31, the same day Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt approved trust special administrator Matthew Kershaw’s report on South London Healthcare Trust.

Members also had a question and answer session with Dr Parson in Bassetts House, in Broadwater Gardens, Orpington, about commissioning health services in Bromley and specific concerns about private providers taking over NHS contracts.

Andy Urbanczyk, 59, of Thorpe Close, Orpington, said: "It’s not just about preserving our health services, it’s also about improving them.

"People are worried about private companies getting contracts."

David Mott, 66, of Red Cedars Road, Orpington, said: "We need to make sure there are no conflicts of interest when the contracts are awarded.

"Although there are regulations and policies, companies have a way of getting round these."

Dr Parson said: "If people think they will not have hospital treatment in the future, that’s not the case and we need to make that clear.

"However, it’s not all about the NHS -for example, people forget Bromley Healthcare itself is actually a social enterprise."

The petition stated: "Please do all you can to stop local health services being broken up or taken over by irresponsible private companies."