Decision Maker

Matthew Hancock MP

  • Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General

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Petitioning Theresa May MP

Defibrillators to be provided in all public places

Our son Tom Cooney died at the age of 28. He was playing rugby when his heart stopped beating. The post mortem showed that he suffered from an undiagnosed genetic heart condition, Arrythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. Between 10 and 12 young people aged 18-35 die every week from this and other undiagnosed heart problems. Often such deaths occur when playing competitive sports. Tom’s friends tried to give him CPR but it didn’t work. In cases like these CPR is only effective in 6% of the time. Defibrillators are a device that can dramatically improve the chances of survival in this situation. Tom might still be alive today if there had been a defibrillator at the sports club he was playing at. Some schools and sports grounds have taken it upon themselves to get a defibrillator, but there is nothing that makes it compulsory in law. In 2017 a Bill was presented to Parliament which would have made Defibrillators compulsory in schools, leisure centres, sports centres and major public places, but due to the 2017 election the Defibrillator (Availability) Bill was tabled never became law. We don’t want Tom’s death to be meaningless, so we have started this petition for this Bill to come into effect - we want to make sure all major public places are required by ław to have a cardiac defibrillator. To avoid other families going through the heartbreak of the loss of a child, please sign this petition to introduce defibrillators in public places. Thank you Alison and Kevin Cooney.      

Alison Cooney
605,954 supporters
Petitioning Houses of Parliament, Matthew Hancock MP

Simon’s Law

My husband Simon Dobbin, was attacked by 12 thugs on March 21st 2015. This was an unprovoked attack that lasted 90 seconds, he was stomped on repeatedly. He suffered a cardiac arrest, it took paramedics 7 minutes to restart his heart.  Simon now has hypoxic brain damage, he is unable to walk, talk or move independently, he is fed via a tube, he has a tracheostomy and needs round the clock care. 12 men were charged and sentenced to prison for a violent public disorder, this sentence carries a maximum time of five years, but Simon has a life sentence. How can someone be clinically dead for 7 minutes and this be a violent public disorder? The law needs to changed around theses cases, and a higher sentence given. I want the government to put Simon’s Law into place. Simon’s Law will state that if an individual is charged and found guilty of a violent public disorder, causing harm to any other, then a percentage of earnings through employment or benefits, are taken from them and paid back to our NHS for the rest of their lives. Hopefully this will be a deterrent and these crimes are drastically reduced, I’d hate to guess, but I’m sure it ran into hundreds and thousands of pounds to keep Simon alive and well enough for him to return home a year later. Simon’s Law will support any individual, and our emergency services who are also on the receiving end of these crimes. Let's put Simon’s Law into place.

Nicole Dobbin
290,645 supporters
Petitioning UK Parliament, Matthew Hancock MP, NHSE , MRHA , JVC

2nd Covid Vaccine should be 21 /28 Days NOT 12 Weeks: Challenge Government

Please sign above link for it to be debated in parliament or at Pfizer has criticised the UK’s decision to lengthen the gap between doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, saying the “safety and efficacy” of the new schedule has not been evaluated.  Although partial protection through the vaccine appears to begin as early as 12 days after the first jab, Pfizer stressed that two doses were required to provide the maximum protection against the disease, with an efficacy figure of 95 per cent. Crucially, it said: “There are no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days.” What does the science say? We don’t know... there is no transparency, data has not been published. There is NOT EVIDENCE MOVING TO 12 weeks will give sufficient cover. The rare intervention by the US pharma company came amid growing controversy over the move, with doctors complaining that they were having to cancel appointments and reassure anxious patients who had previously been told they needed the second dose to keep them safe. “[Our] study . . . was designed to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and efficacy following a two-dose schedule, separated by 21 days,” the company said. “The safety and efficacy of the vaccine has not been evaluated on different dosing schedules as the majority of trial participants received the second dose within the window specified in the study design.” The new dosing guidelines, approved by the UK’s joint committee on vaccination and immunisation and unveiled on Wednesday (30th December), allow the second dose of both the vaccine that Pfizer developed with BioNTech, and the newly approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, to be delivered as much as three months after the first.WE WANT THE U.K. GOVERNMENT; MATT HANCOCK & NHS ENGLAND TO VACCINATE FRONTLINE WORKERS/VULNERABLE PUBLIC WITH THE EVIDENCE BASED DOSING REGIME AS PER VACCINE SCHEDULE NOT ONE THEY DECIDE IS BETTER. WE WANT 94% FROM PFIZER VACCINE NOT 52% FROM ONE DOSE FOR 3 WKS ONLY TO BE GAMBLING WITH PEOPLES LIVES AFTER WEEK 3 IN THE MISGUIDED HOPE HALF PROTECTION IS BETTER THAN NONE. U.K. GOVERNMENT YOU ARE LETTING DOWN ALL THOSE WHO PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE (AND THOSE WHO LOST LIVES). DO THE RIGHT THINGS PUT BACK THE CORRECT DOSING REGIME AS PER STUDY DATA. GET THIS PETITION DEBATED AND CHANGE MISGUIDED GAMBLING BY U.K. POLITICIANS, FOLLOW THE EVIDENCE. PLEASE SIGN!

debbie oliver
283,027 supporters
Petitioning Matthew Hancock MP, Theresa Coffey MP

Make it compulsory to have a mental health first aider at work #wheresyourheadat

When I was 10 I started having panic attacks. Not knowing what was happening, I went to the doctor and was wrongly diagnosed with asthma. They had overlooked that my symptoms could be caused by something mental rather than something physical. I didn’t truly get the help I needed until I was in my thirties – and in the meantime, I developed toxic coping strategies including an eating disorder which lasted 7 years. I think a big part of the problem was that the people around me - doctors, teachers, family and employers - didn't know how to respond or care for me as they would have done if my illness had been physical.  I don’t want other people to suffer in silence as long as I did, so ever since I have been fighting to change our relationship with mental health - I’m a campaigner for better mental health support - and now I’ve joined forces in partnership with some of your favorite brands, from Heat magazine, Grazia and Empire, to Kiss FM, Magic Radio and Absolute Radio, to start this petition calling for all businesses and colleges to introduce mental health first aiders.  The workplace is where we spend most of our adult lives but unfortunately it’s also a place that, in my experience, mental well-being is the most neglected. We feel the need to soldier on when we are struggling with mental illness in a way we never would if we had the flu or broken a leg.  And this is reflected in our laws. Under the Health and Safety at work act, most workplaces have to train someone in medical first aid - it means if we come to work and end up getting hurt or sick, there’s someone that knows what to do. Unfortunately, despite statistics showing 1 in 4 of us struggle with mental health every year, most workplaces don’t have anyone on hand that knows how to help.  Evidence shows the earlier a mental health issue - like stress, anxiety or depression - is detected the easier it is to manage and treat.  By making it easier for people to talk about their mental health at work & and by training colleagues on site who know where to point people to get the help, we could dramatically improve the mental well-being of the country. Mental Health First Aid courses are available, and whilst most organisations don’t have them, those that do (like Unilever and Ford) have found them to be transformative. Please join me in calling on Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd to commit to updating the Health and Safety At Work Act to ensure that businesses have the same obligation to provide mental health first aiders as they do medical first aiders.  

Natasha Devon
214,203 supporters
Petitioning Boris Johnson, Matthew Hancock MP

Incentivise health and social care staff during covid19 outbreak by making wages untaxable

During the worlds current pandemic in an already struggling health care system, the population are relying on health and social care to maintain normal work despite pressures that are growing. I propose that the government make any health care and social care/ front line hours worked untaxable. The bill for this is likely to be less than agency staffing. The workforce is likely to be short due to the outbreak because of staff self isolating themselves and schools closing (although not yet compulsory many are due to staff self isolating) so its fair to say there is a need incentivise other staff to work. Why else would they put themselves at risk front line for no extra benefits. (extra hours here not contracted obviously we care and will work our normal hours but there has to be incentives for overtime) It is essential hospitals and care homes stay performing so these staff should be rewarded for their help. Nurses have been asked to 'draw upon reserves' by Mr hancock something which many have been doing for a long time. So what is the government 'drawing upon' to help us? Or are they again relying on the good will gestures?  In not taxing these people you allow them to help the population and actually see some form of benefit for themselves! Many individuals in this sector also get other taxable incomes such as pensions(for all those retired nurses you want to recall) tax credite/ low income universal credit  (as examples as there are  many different reasons) and would lose or decrease this money if they work over their contracted hours as they're taxable wages. This would then affect their yearly income and many working people would lose childcare funding (as an example) for a longer period than this outbreak. They therefor cannot pick up shifts and help in this crisis because it would affect them financially longer term which is then not maintainable for them in the future! Some of us want to help we want to do more but wouldn't be able to if they're taxable hours as it can totally mess up yearly incomes for when this eventually comes to an end. Furthermore even staff who don't have any other money coming in are still not inclinced to work more than their contracted hours, the pressures are estimated to be huge and a lot of staff are already burnt out. This is due to increased risk of contracting the virus to then have more tax taken and not see an improvement financially. If we expect these EXPERIENCED SKILLED people to step up and into the front line putting themselves at greater risk they should be properly benefitted or they will not do it. This would also hopefully lessen the agency burden on struggling hospitals as their own staff may be more inclined to work overtime. This then keeps continuity in staffing and helps wards run smoother. It is not beyond the realms of possibility to do this and has been done before for armed forces in different circumstances. When many self isolating people will get statutory sick pay from the government those remaining front line should be rewarded for keeping calm and carrying on, as always. This pandemic is going to get worse and hospitals will likely be pushed to their limits. Set the incentives now so people can prepare because staff shouldn't have to increase their personal risk along with their families risk without some benefit.  I've personally heard of certain jobs being offered some pretty good money to stay at work and isolate there but im yet to hear of any incentives for those who are most at risk and very needed... Such as those on minimum wage looking after our most vulnerable in care homes being asked to isolate for two weeks away from their loved ones and stay in these care homes to care for yours. Health and social care sectors have already had an incredibly intense winter leaving many departments already short staffed and remaining staff over strained if something does not get put in place fast for those remaining we will be at crisis staffing levels in no time. This will draw in help, this would unlock a lot of staff that want to help.. Because if nothing changes for us Then what will you do? Whats your plan without us. 

Bethany Victoria
143,434 supporters
Petitioning Boris Johnson, UK Parliament, Matthew Hancock MP

Give #NHSBonus to NHS workers UK-wide

I am a physiotherapist working in a busy London hospital and deliver rehabilitation to patients during their admission which, this year, has included individuals who have contracted COVID. 2020 has been trying for ALL frontline healthcare workers as we have, and continue, to work around the clock under stressful circumstances to ensure people are given the care and expertise they need through this pandemic. Many of us have taken on additional roles and duties in order to account for short-staffing amongst hospital staff as a result of COVID illness, self-isolation or shielding. I contracted COVID in late March and have since struggled with fatigue. Many of us are exhausted but we continue to dedicate ourselves to this cause because we really do care. On 30th November 2020 we learnt that Nicola Sturgeon has negotiated a one-off £500 bonus and 2021 pay increase for NHS Scotland workers and this is such delightful news. Our Scottish co-workers deserve this recognition and reward! This lead to me thinking, surely the #NHSBonus should be rewarded to NHS workers UK-wide? Every NHS worker across the UK has worked equally hard, putting themselves and their loved ones lives at risk, in order to look after others during this unprecedented time. Therefore, please, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, consider making this a UK-wide “Thank You” to our NHS heroes, for all their hard work and sacrifice through this pandemic.

Emma Higgins
115,486 supporters
Petitioning Matthew Hancock MP

A national grief day to remember those we've lost

I’m Stephen, also known as Professor Green. I’ve been speaking a lot about grief lately - the grief of losing my dad and my nan. The thing about grieving is, it never stops. It’s something you learn is part of life once you’ve encountered death. I realised when talking about this that it's something we aren't used in the UK. I put a call out for people to share photos of themselves with someone they’ve lost, using the hashtag # wishthatitookmorephotographsof us. The overwhelming and emotional response I got made me realise we desperately need to talk more about grief. I find it hard to believe we have had no other way of connecting our experiences of grief, no day on which we can celebrate the lives of those we mourn to remind us it’s okay to grieve, to stop us internalising our grief and sweeping it under the carpet until it manifests in a far more ugly way. That’s why I’m calling for a National Grief Awareness Day.This day will be an opportunity to call for more support and education around grief, and to give people a chance to remember and celebrate the lives of lost loved ones. It exists in the US already - there’s no reason we can’t do the same here. Christmas can be an extremely difficult time of year, when loved ones have been lost and feel more absent than ever. We are calling on the government commit to doing this by Christmas, and for the day itself to be around this time too.This petition is being backed by Cruse, the bereavement charity who offer support when someone dies. 

Stephen Manderson
111,695 supporters
Petitioning UK Parliament, Boris Johnson, The Department for Health and Social Care, Matthew Hancock MP


In Loving Memory of Mary Agyiewaa Agyapong My name is Ernest Boateng; I am the husband of Mary Agyapong, the 28 year old pregnant nurse who tragically died in April, after becoming infected with Covid19. Since Mary’s death, very little has been done to protect pregnant women from this life threatening virus, despite studies showing that for those in the later stages of pregnancy, they are more likely to become severely unwell. That is why I am calling on the Government to protect pregnant women by ensuring they can either work from home, or they must be suspended from work on full pay. The announcement of a vaccine which is to be rolled out imminently is good news for many people who are vulnerable, but pregnant women will not be given the vaccine. This means they will not be protected when other vulnerable people will be. The Government must consider the specific needs of pregnant women to ensure they are safe. The guidance for pregnant women has been confusing throughout this pandemic. The current guidance continues to list pregnant women as vulnerable and says that if they cannot work from home then they should adhere to strict social distancing. But, we know that this is not happening. Research by Pregnant Then Screwed in October found that 57% of pregnant women who are working outside of the home do not feel safe, and only half of pregnant women (53%) have had a risk assessment from their employer, and even then, many employers are ignoring their own risk assessment. Only 1% of pregnant women who cannot work from home have been suspended from work on safety grounds. The groups at increased risk of severe COVID-19 were recognised including the increased risk for mothers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic heritage. An analysis of women in French hospitals showed that those in the second half of pregnancy, from 20 weeks gestation, were five times more likely to be admitted to ICU than those in the first half of pregnancy. We also know that maternal Covid-19 is associated with an approximately three times greater risk of preterm birth. Black pregnant women were 8 times more likely to be hospitalised than white pregnant women, according to research by Oxford University. Mary should not have been working based on the facts and findings above. She was 35 weeks pregnant when she tested positive for Covid-19. In memory of my beautiful, kind and caring wife, I ask that no other family has to experience what mine has. Please sign this petition to demand that all pregnant women are protected by ensuring they can either work from home or are suspended from work on full pay.

Ernest Boateng
101,861 supporters
Petitioning Boris Johnson, Matthew Hancock MP

Emergency Services to receive Covid vaccine as priority

Over the past year the Emergency Services have worked tirelessly with little protection against Covid-19. They have worked to keep us all safe just as NHS staff have. We need to remember that the Fire & Rescue Service, the Police Service, Coastguard Search & Rescue and Emergency Medical Services have continued to respond to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout this national crisis. My husband is in the police force so I’ve seen first hand how this pandemic has affected those on the frontline in our emergency services. They have no choice with where they go in their working day or whom they deal with often in very close proximity. It’s very difficult for front line emergency service workers to keep a distance when working, often having to share vehicles, desks, IT equipment etc - not to mention dealing with the public and entering situations that make social distancing impossible.  Now that the vaccine is being rolled out it is right that vulnerable people are being prioritised. But once they have received their vaccination I think emergency services staff should get the vaccine as a priority. Please sign if you agree! People who work in these jobs put their lives at risk to protect us. These are the people we should be protecting as a priority, to ensure our emergency services can continue to function to save and respond to the needs of the general public in these unprecedented times.  Please sign this petition to prioritise our emergency services frontline workers to receive a vaccination against Covid-19. 

Karla M
88,773 supporters
Save Further Education in Northumberland

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this petition set up by Jacqui Dixon. We are focusing the skills budget where it can have most impact. This will focus on providing young adults with the skills they need for sustainable work, skills training for unemployed adults, and English and maths for all those who have yet to achieve a Grade A*-C, recognising these are essential requirements for sustainable employment. Apprenticeships and Traineeships will be a particular priority. Full funding rules are available at: Of course, older learners need additional help so we have made more funding available for Advanced Learning Loans, enabling learners to access support to help meet up-front fees, and removing one of the main barriers to learning. The petition suggests that in areas of high unemployment such as the North East, people are discouraged from taking on a government backed Advanced Learning Loan. Applications for loans in their first year of operation (over 66,000 to the end of April) have been strong. In recent meetings with providers and stakeholders from across the FE sector we received positive feedback on the way the loans programme has been implemented. I believe that Advanced Learning Loans provide an opportunity for individuals to undertake learning which should improve their employment prospects at no up-front cost and are only repayable when they are earning £21,000. For younger learners, our priority remains to provide a high-quality study programme for every 16-19 year old, especially 16 year olds who are now legally required to participate. To that end despite a decrease in the population of 16-18 year olds we will be funding in 2014/15 at least as many places as were filled in the academic year 2013/14. We will be reducing funding for 18-year-olds to £3,300 compared to £4,000 for 16- and 17-year-olds. Students without GCSE grade C in English or mathematics and those with statements of special education needs, learning disability assessments or education, health and care plans are excluded from this reduction. Full-time 18-year-olds will still be funded for programmes broadly the same size as the core element of programmes they undertook prior to 2013/14. For the academic year 2014/15 we will cap any losses resulting from this change to the funding for 18-year-olds at 2% of the institution’s programme funding, protecting more than 450 schools and colleges that would otherwise have lost more than 2% of their funding from the 18-year-olds funding reduction. Full funding rules are available at: I appreciate that any budget reductions are unwelcome and Northumberland College, like all providers, will have had to re-prioritise its provision. However, in order to reduce the budget deficit, reductions to programme funding have been necessary and I believe that the funding priorities we have established are the right ones. The College’s 2014/15 Adult Skills Budget will be £3,092,460 plus an increased Advanced Learning Loan allocation of £756,036, representing a total £890,519 reduction. Its 16-19 budget will be reduced by £60,000 to £7,378,751 (excluding student support funding). One of our key funding priorities is Apprenticeships which equip people of all ages with the skills that employers need to compete and grow. I was therefore disappointed to read in the petition that small employers in the North East are reluctant to take on an apprentice due to bureaucracy. Small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy and high quality training opportunities like Apprenticeships are key to supporting their growth and success. Many small business employers already recognise the benefits of recruiting Apprentices and recent evidence suggests that about half of all Apprenticeship employers are small, with 1-24 employees. However, many small businesses are not engaged and are missing out on the opportunities that Apprenticeships offer for improving productivity and supporting sustainability and we want to address that. We are therefore making it easier to take on an Apprentice by cutting back on bureaucracy and replacing complex frameworks with simple standards set by employers. The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers also provides support for smaller employers taking on young apprentices aged 16-24. The Budget announced an additional £170 million funding over the next two years to support the current very high demand for the grant. The additional support will fund over 100,000 additional incentive payments. The grant has been particularly successful at removing barriers to smaller businesses taking on their first apprentices. Finally, I would like to pay tribute to the college and all the work it does in Northumberland, particularly in view of the employment and skills challenges facing people in the communities it serves. I know that local colleges play an important role in inspiring people and equipping them with the skills that they need to engage more successfully with their local labour markets. Matthew Hancock

8 years ago