CAMPAIGNERS presented a petition against NHS reforms to the constituency office of a Poole MP.

Members of 38 Degrees and the Bournemouth and Poole Anti-Cuts Coalition (BPACC) wanted to meet Robert Syms, but said he cancelled the appointment.

The petition has been signed by 400,000 people from across the country.

38 Degrees is a ‘progressive’ group opposed to health secretary Andrew Lansley’s reforms.

Member Kim Elkin, 38, from Parkstone, said: “I’ve had amazing care from the NHS over the past four years and I am passionate about other people getting the same.

“Mr Syms hasn’t replied to my emails so I thought I would try to talk to him.”

The campaigners handed the petition over to the Poole Conservative Association in Sandbanks Road last Friday.

Mr Syms said he could not attend because he was watching his son’s swimming gala but he was happy to re-arrange a meeting for another day.

He said: “I am broadly in favour of the reforms but I don’t think it was a good idea to a have a massive bill.

“A lot could have been done incrementally. A lot of it was also following on from the last government.

“From a political management point of view, I don’t think it’s been handled very well.

“We have to carry people in the NHS with us and clearly the government has lost the support of the Royal College of Nurses and the British Medical Association.”

The reforms would give GPs control of about 60 per cent of the NHS budget and allow more private firms to provide care.

Darren Brown, chair of BPACC, said: “I thought the government and its MPs were supposed to be listening to the public, but it’s difficult to listen if you don’t meet them.”