Decision Maker

The Department for Health and Social Care

Does The Department for Health and Social Care have the power to decide or influence something you want to change? Start a petition to this decision maker.Start a petition
Petitioning The Department for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid

UK government to provide free PCR covid tests for travel

If you work for an airline, in an airport or in any aviation related industry and want to do something to secure your job, then sign this petition. If you want to go on holiday this year or take your family on holiday this year without having to pay hundreds of pounds in Covid testing, then sign this petition. In the last twelve months, PCR Covid testing has become a multi-million pound industry. The UK government have stopped offering free PCR tests to the general public, they are only available to front line workers. If you are travelling abroad you will need a test before you depart, a test before you return (taken in the country you travel to) and at a minimum a test on day two after returning to the UK, depending on where you have a been you may have to take even more tests. The average cost for testing per person per trip is £236. A family of four will typically have to pay almost £1,000 in testing in order to take a  trip abroad. At the same time, domestic holidays in the UK have seen a sharp price increase due to demand, meaning holidays at home or abroad are now extortionately expensive. To boost the aviation and travel sector the government should offer free or heavily discounted PCR tests so that anyone can travel abroad for a fair price. The recovery of the travel sector is anticipated to be very slow. Despite being allowed to travel, many can not afford the additional costs. Not only does this mean not being able to travel abroad for many, it means more redundancies and pay cuts for airline and airport staff. The government should intervene now and give this sector the support it needs to help save jobs and give people a chance to travel. 

Neill Farkhondeh
405,897 supporters
Petitioning Matt Hancock MP, Theresa May MP, Department for Health and Social Care

Make suicide prevention and support a government minister's responsibility

My brother Dan was my best pal and my idol. He was taken by something silent, something none of his friends or family saw coming. 13 years ago, we lost Dan to suicide.  After he died, I set out a goal of preventing one brother, one father, one family, one friend having to go through what my family, his friends and I went through.  Dan was just one of the 84 men who take their own lives every single week in the UK. The numbers still shock me. Suicide claims the lives of more than 6,000 British men and women every year and is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Every single suicide directly affects 135 people – people like me, people like you. Beyond this unimaginable emotional cost, every single suicide costs an estimated £1.67 million – a cost to families, friends and wider society.  Yet no minister in the UK government is officially responsible for suicide prevention and bereavement support. No minister is mandated to represent the thousands of people every year who feel like suicide is their only option, or the hundreds of thousands of bereaved families whose lives will never be the same again.  It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to take a stand.  I’ve joined forces with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), who are leading the movement against male suicide. Together, we are calling for a government minister to take on official responsibility for suicide prevention and bereavement support.  What would this actually mean?  It means a Government minister would be held to account for the delivery of effective suicide prevention plans for every local area. It means they would be held to account for high standards for bereavement support across the whole country, so it’s no longer a postcode lottery whether you get help after losing a loved one. It means they would be held to account for ensuring accurate data about the people who take their own lives, so we can better understand how to help them stay alive It means those at risk, as well as their families, getting the support they need. It means fewer men like Dan. Fewer families like mine. Join me and CALM to take a #StandAgainstSuicide. -- We've made some more specific recommendations and actions that we'd like the new ministerial role to undertake. You can read that paper here. On March 26th 2018, CALM launched #Project84 to tell the stories behind the statistic that 84 men die by suicide every week. Find out more and join the campaign at: Have you been affected by suicide? The Support After Suicide Partnership is a hub for anyone bereaved or affected by suicide, where you can find emotional and practical support. 

Matthew Smith
391,703 supporters
Petitioning The Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, The Department for Health and Social Care

Stop unnecessary cancer deaths caused by the COVID disruptions and save thousands of lives

This is my daughter Kelly, she died tragically aged 31 due to bowel cancer. Her loss has been devastating to our family. Her life expectancy was drastically cut short after her chemotherapy stopped as a direct result of COVID. Across the UK, people have had their cancer treatments impacted - so I've started this petition calling for the Government to take urgent action, before it's too late. You may have seen our Kelly’s story featured in a recent Panorama programme called ‘Britain’s Cancer Crisis’ which showed the extent of the problem. Experts are warning that as many as 35,000 cancer patients could die unnecessarily as a result of the impact of the pandemic on cancer services. The Government and senior NHS leaders need to react to this national tragedy in cancer services.  When we watched the Panorama programme it seemed that the powers that be were aiming to get cancer services back to normal by the end of the year! This is far too long - it is not OK to let cancer patients suffer and die. Every day of delay is a day too many. They need to act now. Sadly it is too late for Kelly, but there’s still time to save others. We need an emergency response across all available cancer treatments with extra resources and with the same amount of energy and focus as was deployed against the virus itself.  In particular, treatments like radiotherapy need to be boosted and set free from the bureaucracy that is holding it back.  Please sign this petition to urge Matt Hancock to boost cancer services, at all stages of the cancer pathway, to stop tens of thousands of cancer patients dying unnecessarily.#CatchUpWithCancer #Radiotherapy4Life #BritainsCancerCrisis

Craig and Mandy Russell
378,404 supporters
Petitioning The Department for Health and Social Care, NHS Digital

Stop the Share of NHS Data and paid access without informed consent

From 1st of September, NHS Digital plans to roll out its General Practice Data for Planning and Research. I am a Barrister of England and Wales and feel strongly that everyone should be given the choice of how their data is used. I don't necessarily object to companies having access to some data but I object to the data being shared without prior, informed consent on what information is shared, and with whom. Watch my video here: 10 years' worth of YOUR NHS data will be collected for a “wide variety of research and analysis to help run and improve health and care services”. What is the problem with this? It is "opt-out" rather than "opt-in" - so your data will be shared unless you take action by the 1st of September 2021. Dr Ellen Welch, a GP and the editorial leader of Doctors' Association UK, said:  “NHS Digital has failed to publicise this adequately to patients or healthcare staff, and we feel more time is needed to explain to patients how exactly their data will be used, who will benefit from it and what implications it may have for individuals.” This should be "opt-in", rather than "opt-out" - just like virtually every website you visit that insists you acknowledge and consent to tracking cookies. NHS DIGITAL WEBSITE: Read what the BBC says in the subject here: Excerpt:Dr Farah Jameel, of the British Medical Association (BMA), said the timeline needed a "hard reset".

BlackBelt Barrister
239,404 supporters
Petitioning The Bank of England, The Department for Health and Social Care

International Mary Seacole Day for 2021 Celebrating modern nursing & diversity in the NHS

The Bank of England has just announced that they will be redesigning the £50 note. Meaning there will be an opportunity to feature a new individual who has made an invaluable contribution to British History. I think that person should be Mary Seacole. Other than the Queen the only other woman on our banknotes is Jane Austen, and there are no ethnic minorities.  Mary Seacole is a Jamaican British war hero who supported British troops as a nurse during the Crimean war. Despite being rejected by Florence Nightingale to join her band of nurses, she traveled to the front line of the war in Crimea. She was so widely loved for her healing powers, the soldiers nicknamed her “Mother Seacole.” Mary inspired thousands of women and people of colour to dedicate their lives to the NHS. Recently the Royal College of Nursing recognised her contribution to British Nursing, publicly declaring her on the same footing as Florence Nightingale. I am an activist and campaigner who has been fighting for years to get Black Britons recognised for their contribution to history. In 2003 I launched an initiative called 100 Great Black Britons, where the public voted Mary Seacole as the greatest black briton of all time for the heroic way she served the country during war. Since then I have fought and won campaign a campaign to get her on the school curriculum. I think an incredible next step would be to see her on the £50 note. The lack of ethnic minority representation on British banknotes needs to change. It currently doesn’t reflect the face of Britain and it sends a damaging message that people of colour haven’t played an important role in British history - which isn’t true. The recent Windrush scandal sent a damaging message that British institutions don’t respect the valuable contribution that black britons have made to the country. Putting Mary Seacole on the note could help start to mend that. I know if enough of you get behind this we can make a change. In 2013 a petition of 35,000 convinced the Bank of England to put a woman on the £5 note and another which I started convinced the Government to keep Mary Seacole on the School Curriculum. Please help me convince the Bank of England to put Mary Seacole on the £50 note by signing this petition.  

Patrick Vernon OBE
152,067 supporters
Petitioning The Department for Health and Social Care, Theresa May MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Paula Sherriff MP

Make Cervical Cancer Screening Accessible For Disabled Women Like Me

Hi, my name is Fiona Anderson, I'm a 30yr old Mum of 2 living in Bolton, Greater Manchester. Living with a rare life-limiting muscle-wasting condition means my mobility is so limited I'm hoisted for all transfers. Despite receiving my first letter at age 25 (like every other woman) to book an appointment for Cervical Screening - previously known as a "smear test" - I could NOT access this vital, routine screening as 98% of healthcare centres do not have patient hoists for people like me, who need it to transfer safely onto the examination table. I'm not an isolated case. There's an estimated 250,000 disabled people in the UK who rely on hoists, half of which are female. That's give or take - 125,000 disabled women who will struggle immensely to get their routine cervical screening or not gain access to it AT ALL - due to lack of hoist provision. I have NEVER had a smear test because my GP practice does not have a hoist and couldn’t come up with another safe solution to examine me. Home visits for Cervical Screenings aren’t covered by the medical centre's insurance and there is no database of clinics/medical centres with hoists to refer me somewhere else! As a result I run the risk of cervical cancer going undetected purely because of an accessibility issue related to my disability. To this day, along with the thousands upon thousands of disabled women who need hoists, I still receive letters reminding me my smear test is overdue and that by skipping it I'm risking my life. Some women are being asked to sign saying they're REFUSING the routine screening, to stop getting these letters despite their GPs knowing full well it's an access need being unmet and a possible breach of the Equality Act 2010. As a community we are calling for the NHS to take steps to give people with disabilities equal access to vital cervical cancer screening. Including by making hoists available at every NHS medical centre! Please help us by signing this petition. 

Fiona Anderson
109,551 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
101,848 supporters
Petitioning The Department for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, East Sussex Local Health Authority

Don’t rob my children of their dignity: Provide incontinence pads

My name is Jackie. I’m a mother of two wonderful children - Mathew is 15 and Ellie is 8.Mathew and Ellie are both disabled and have complex physical and medical needs. They are both incontinent and rely on pads 24/7. Without them, they would be sat in their own urine and faeces.Our Local Health Authority used to provide these pads, but earlier this year they suddenly told us the allowance would be drastically cut. This could be happening across the country so the system clearly isn’t working.Instead of 5 pads per day, my children are now given 3. This isn’t enough. Sometimes they’ll get through two pads before they even get to school. But when we raised this the Local Health Authority said we’d have to pay for the rest ourselves.That’s a £1600 a year just to keep our children dry and clean. And it’s yet another burden that parents of children with disabilities have to face.That’s why I’ve set up a petition calling for all people with disabilities to be given as many continence pads as they need. I’m calling on my Local Health Authority and the Health Minister to work together and make sure everyone has access to free pads.The situation we’re now in is humiliating for myself and for my children. I’m used to constantly fighting for their rights, but can’t believe I’m now having to fight for this too. Even my son’s consultant has said that this decision is ridiculous.My children didn’t ask to be born with disabilities. All I’m asking for is that they are treated with dignity and respect.Nobody should be robbed of this basic human rights because their families can’t pay for extra pads.Sign my petition so that all people with disabilities get access to free continence pads.

Jackie Hoadley
88,288 supporters
Petitioning National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, UK Parliament, The Department for Health and Social Care

Stop the Cruel Changes to Chronic Pain NICE Guidelines

Please Help us to Fight the Cruel Changes to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Chronic Pain Guidelines. This is the homepage of the Campaign, please sign this petition to keep up to date with the latest updates. We now have a UK Government and Parliament Petition - Commission NICE to Review Guidelines on Chronic Pain. We need 100,000 signatures for the Campaign to be debated in Parliament.  For a moment, please imagine you are in so much pain that all you can do is curl up in a ball for hours. You are crying and wishing for it all to go away. Then a health or medical professional says, “You will be alright after you do some Exercise and some Acceptance Therapy”. How would that make you feel? For many of us that is our new reality. The Department of Health recognises chronic pain both as a long-term condition in its own right and as a component of other long-term conditions. Across the UK there are currently 14 million people living with chronic pain (PainUK,2020). Yet, the fight to get timely and effective treatment for chronic pain is often long and difficult. It is incredible to think that despite the clear evidence provided by the above figures treatment for chronic pain continues to be one of the most under-funded services within the NHS. Despite the huge amounts of money that have been poured into the NHS by the present government the provision of specialised pain services continues to diminish as local service commissioners fail to see them as a priority (Action on Pain,2021). Numerous vital Pain relief and management treatments are no longer approved by NICE guidelines. The British Medical Journal (2021) state that Pain Management Specialist have raised concerns about NICE’S Chronic Pain Guidelines. They say the Guidelines does not reflect clinical practice or current evidence. The Faculty of Pain Medicine (2021) state the changes will risk those who are diagnosed with Chronic Pain that subsequently develop Secondary pain will not be recognised or treated appropriately. There is also a risk that Pain management programmes and effective pain relief medication will be removed and severely reduce quality of life. In addition, Dr Rajesh Munglani who is a consultant in pain medicine at Royal Papworth Hospital and is a council member of the British Pain Society states That many chronic pain patients rely on such drugs to achieve any quality of life. I know chronic pain is torture and dominates every moment of the day (Guardian, 2021). We have reviewed the evidence that NICE has made available to the public and found that numerous outcomes for secondary interventions for medicine and other treatments have been withheld (NICE, 2021a). We have made a Freedom of Information Act request for this information and any additional research studies that may have been used to form the basis of their decision. However, NICE has declined both the initial request and internal appeal. We have now sent a request to the Information Commissioner and they have accepted our case. The only saving grace is that NICE is allowing current chronic pain patients to keep their current pain medication. Yet, this will be cruelly problematic when current pain patients need further medication and treatment. In addition, the current guidelines provide another tool for Medical Gaslighting which many of us experience and this adds further trauma. (Medical News Today (2020) states that medical gaslighting occurs when a medical or health professional dismisses or trivialises a person’s health concerns based on the assumption, they are mentally ill. For example, they may tell the person their symptoms are “in their head”). For many of us with chronic pain there is no cure, yet effective pain relief (such as those medications that are no longer approved by NICE) can be the difference between having a quality of life and being bed-bound. There appears to be such a negative stigma attached to chronic pain patients. We are not saying that addiction does not happen but (a) this is rare; and (b) addiction happens in other patient groups, yet we are the ones who are mostly targeted. We require pain relief medications or treatments to function not to get a ‘high’. The Faculty of Pain Medicine (2021) state that they have significant concerns regarding the evidence base supporting the NEW Chronic Pain guidelines. They explain that pain is a field in which choice of analysis of data can significantly affect outcomes. They respectfully point out that highly relevant Cochrane reviews regarding pharmacological, psychological, manual therapy, exercise, acupuncture, electrical physical modalities and pain management programmes have been excluded. They note that this has also been highlighted in stakeholder feedback from the Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Support Care (PaPaS) Review Group published in September 2020. This document clearly lays out the difficulties and challenges regarding interpreting results in pain research as well as how to mitigate them. This is an area that requires further deliberation to avoid patient populations that may gain benefit from interventions from being disadvantaged as well as avoiding interventions in those that will not benefit. They also note that several patient groups have also expressed similar concern.The new NICE guidelines for chronic pain conflict with existing legislation and guidance from other specialist organisations. For example, Article Three of the Humans Rights Act (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2014) prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment. If caregivers (someone who is providing medical or health care) fail to provide care that is needed to avoid preventable suffering such as pain relief, then this could amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. How to try to protect yourself or your loved ones with Chronic Pain? Firstly, thank you to all the medical, health, therapeutic and alternative professionals that have supported the chronic pain community. You are rare diamonds! Your Human Rights The Human Rights Act is currently under review; however, I believe that Article Three of the act is not under review for change. Article Three prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment. If caregivers (such as your GP/Nurse etc) fail to provide care that is needed to avoid preventable suffering such as pain relief in a clinically appropriate form, then this could amount to inhuman or degrading treatment. Article Three prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment. If caregivers (someone who is providing you medical or health care) fail to provide care that is needed to avoid preventable suffering such as pain relief. Then this could amount to inhuman and degrading treatment. Useful websites: Your Rights as NHS Patient I advise you to understand your rights as an NHS patient.   For example, we do not have a right to ask for a second opinion. However, you can ask for a second opinion and if the doctor is found unsure about a diagnosis because they did not refer you to a second opinion such as a specialist, he or she can be found negligent. Useful Websites: References Equality and Human Rights Commission (2014)- Medical News Today (2020) - Pain UK (2020) - Action on Pain (2021) - British Medical Association (2017) - NICE (2021a) - NICE (2021) - Faulty of Pain Medicine (2021) - British Medical Journal (2021) BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 09 April 2021) Guardian (2021) -   Disclaimer – This is general advice. I am not a medical or a legal professional. My background is in Occupational Therapy, Care and Mental Health. I have suffered from Chronic Pain for many years, and I was previously a carer for my mother who had a neurological disease (she also suffered from chronic pain). All cases will be different, therefore please take appropriate advice before proceeding.

Claire Swain
37,491 supporters