The Department for Health and Social Care
The 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: http://bit.ly/WSPD2018CALM. 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.
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.
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.
Help put pressure on the pharmaceutical companies
Pharmaceutical companies use sick people to trial their medicines but are free to stop treatments whenever they want. We need to put pressure on these companies to continue the treatments at the request of the patient. Profit should not be put before people and pharmaceutical companies should not cease the treatment, especially beneficial treatment, after the agreed scheduled period of treatment comes to an end. Following the diagnosis and treatment with chemotherapy on lung cancer, patient X relapsed and was given a course of radiotherapy. This was followed by an experimental immunotherapy treatment. Whilst this treatment will not cure the cancer it has stopped it growing and spreading. Patient X wants to continue with the treatment but the pharmaceutical company will end their treatment in January 2019. Please sign this petition to help support our plea for continuation on the treatment; cost should not come before a persons life. Pharmaceutical companies should not decided who can have and who can't based on profit margins. Support the campaign to get this much loved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and cousin, continued access to the immunotherapy treatment. Help keep her in her home with her family around her and give her and her family the peace of mind that everything that could be done, was done. Please sign this petition today and forward to all of your contacts. Thank you.
Prevent Stillbirth and Preterm Labour by Monitoring Women who have had Cervical Treatment
On the 24th June 2019, at 26 weeks, my husband and I lost our baby girl. My cervix opened unexpectedly and infection got in. I had an emergency induction to get our baby out, but sadly it was all too much for her. Seeing our beautiful baby girl, Angel, lying peacefully in her pink flowery dress and knowing that we were not going to get to take her home was utterly heartbreaking and has left a void in our hearts that will never heal. We now know that her death was due to an 'Incompetent Cervix' caused by the LLETS (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) treatment that I had, following an abnormal smear test. Presently, there are NO specific guidelines in place for the monitoring of women who have had this procedure. Thousands of women receive treatment for abnormal cervical cells each year and very few are made aware of the potential risks associated with this procedure. Research provided by Tommy's and Cancer Research suggests that many women are treated unnecessarily for changes that would otherwise have gone back to normal. When I had this treatment in 2015, I was not made aware that the treatment posed a potential risk in pregnancy. During my pregnancy, I received no extra monitoring. I went into hospital on three different occasions, displaying symptoms including, back pain, light bleeding and vaginal pressure. Had an internal scan been carried out, the scan would have identified shortening of the cervix and a life saving stitch could have been placed. My husband and I are campaigning for clear guidelines to be put in place for the monitoring of pregnant women who have had cervical treatment. Some hospitals have already implemented this without specific government guidances. Women SHOULD receive cervical length scans from 14 to 26 weeks. These scans will identify potential cervical weakness and ensure that appropriate treatment is administered before the problem escalates. 1/4 of preterm deliveries are due to cervical weakness. Many of these babies do not survive. Please help us to prevent parents from experiencing the avoidable loss of a baby by signing our petition. Innocent babies' lives can be saved!
Cut the time it takes for women to he diagnosed with Endometriosis
On average it takes 5 years for women to be diagnosed with Endometriosis, from the very first appointment with a GP when symptoms first occur to being diagnosed, this is often because women are told that 'it's in your head' 'you have depression' 'these are period pains' and THIS NEED TO CHANGE! GP's and women's health servces need to be more proactive in listening to us and investigating a lot quicker to ensure that we do not suffer unnecessarily by receiving the right treatment
Recognise children whose parents have mental illness in government policy by 2021
Our Time, the only UK charity solely supporting children and young people whose parents have a mental illness, is running a campaign called “Being Seen and Heard” — a campaign calling for recognition and support for the estimated 3.7 million affected children. These children are amongst the most vulnerable and neglected in the country, receiving little attention or support. Children who have a parent with a mental illness are at risk of having mental health problems unless they get the right support. Research indicates that 70% risk developing mental health problems  with significant impact on their life chances and at huge expense to the public purse. In an average British classroom, that equates to eight children — more than 1 in 4 children per class. Some 3 million children are projected to be at risk of developing a mental health issue by 2021. Experts say the potential cost to the UK government could amount to £180 billion.  All this is preventable. Evidence indicates that low-cost, timely intervention enables young people to flourish.& Our Time wants children affected by parental mental illness to be seen and heard. We are working hard to persuade politicians and policy makers in health, social services and education to include these children in mental health policy and funding plans. Please join our campaign by signing the petition below. References: Ernst & Young, ‘Sizing the Problem – analysis by EY,’ commissioned by Our Time (2018) Rubovits, P. C. (1996). Project CHILD: an intervention programme for psychotic mothers and their children. In Gopfert, J.Webster & MV Seeman (eds) Parental Psychiatric Disorder (2nd edition pp 161-172) New York:Cambridge University Press Children’s Commissioner Vulnerability Report 2018 Welsh Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, Public Health Wales, Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, 2015 Rutter, M. (1966) Children of sick parents. An environmental and psychiatric study. London: Oxford University Press.
The NHS to fund life saving gene test for breast cancer
My name is Wendy Watson MBE. I was the first person to have a double mastectomy due to the risk of hereditary breast cancer within my family. 9 out of 12 women in my family have suffered from breast cancer. In 1996 I started the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline to help other women like me. Little was known about hereditary breast cancer but things have changed. So far 3 genes have been identified that give a high risk of breast cancer with several more identified that increase risk. In addition to the genes already found this simple test looks at 143 SNPs; markers around risk factors. People will be able to access more (or less!) screening. A simple cheap test can identify these genes and help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Is a life worth £80? Because that is the total cost of this genuinely life saving test. We are asking people to sign our petition to get this test funded. A recent BBC news item demonstrated how invaluable this test is and showed a four fold difference in two sisters who otherwise would be given the same risk of developing breast cancer. The one sister had a 1 in 2 chance of developing breast cancer and has been able to have life saving preventive surgery, whilst the other sister was just back to population risk based on this inexpensive test. It makes no sense to fund widespread research on what has proven to be a life saving SNPS test that has still not been commissioned. We need this to urgently be debated and a common sense approach taken. What is important to note is that this saves money for the NHS whatever the result. £80 for a life?
Provide coverage for Dental Implants
About 23 million are completely edentulous and about 12 million are edentulous in one arch. 90 percent of those who suffer from edentulism have dentures. Dentures are generally the poorest quality of tooth replacement. I liken them to a false or prosthetic arm….it may look like an arm but does not function like one and is a poor substitute for the real thing. Dentures are not much different. No doubt a denture is usually better than nothing at all, but they are fraught with problems. Millions of Americans can not afford permanent solutions to tooth loss like the G4 Implant Solution. Why is dental not covered under medical insurance? The same may be asked of vision, but at least there if you have a serious eye problem (like glaucoma or cataracts) you go to an ophthalmologist, which is covered by medical. Such isn’t the case with dental. The partition between dental and medical makes little sense given that “oral health is directly related to general health. The oral cavity is a gateway to your body. A lot of stuff in the mouth can indicate kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, HPV, cancer, etc. Your dentist can be your first line of defense. More than 800,000 annual ER visits arise from preventable dental problems. Dentistry and medicine have been considered inherently distinct practices. The two have never been treated the same way by either the medical system or public insurance programs. But as we learn more about how diseases that start in our mouths can ravage the rest of our bodies, it’s a separation that’s increasingly hard to rationalize. Private Insurance, Public Insurance, and the Medical systems need to realize that a majority of person's wait until it is too late, because they can not afford proper prevention, and then their only option is something they can not live with or the cheapest solution. Dental Implants provide a much more permanent solution, that function far more closely to natural teeth.I started this petition because...Over the last decade that I have had the honor to work with Dr. Mike Golpa, I have seen the dramatic impact that oral health has on a person's life. I have had the privilege to meet and befriend thousands of patients from all walks of life, and I have found that no matter someone's background, a person's smile, or lack thereof, can have devastating effects on self-esteem as well as overall health. I have witnessed these effects on family members and friends throughout my life as well.“Over the last decade we have received thousands of powerful letters from you, detailing your struggles, the pain, embarrassment, and the judgement that you endure on a daily basis, due to issues with your teeth that are often beyond your control, or due to a lack of resources to address them.But we think we can change that! If you sign our petition, we think we can change the view of insurance companies and the government that consider this just a “Cosmetic” procedure, and don't truly know that this can be as necessary as, if not more than many covered medical procedures. Carlos Morgan - Director - https://g4bygolpa.com
Maintain and reopen the invaluable Alexandra Avenue Walk-in Centre in Harrow
Anyone who has visited the A&E department at Northwick Park Hospital will know how busy it is and be aware of the 4-hour wait. Walk-in and Urgent Care Centres, a vital part of our healthcare service, are an alternative to, and take the pressure off our A&E departments. Because of funding cuts, Northwest London Clinical Commissioning aims to reduce the number of patients at the Alexandra Avenue Clinic from 40,000 to 20,000 by removing it's walk-in availability from November 1st 2018. Harrow walk-in centre's will only be available at the Pinn Medical Centre and Belmont Health centre. Local parents, elderly and vulnerable patients, will be severely affected by this change. If the Alex Clinic has lost its walk-in availability, how long until the Pinn and Belmont Health Centre's suffer the same fate? Please join #Fixit in our attempt to maintain the availability of the Alexandra Clinic NHS Walk-in service, an invaluable asset to our community. Let’s pull together and make sure that our Harrow services are not pulled away. Together, our voices can be heard.