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The Department for Health and Social Care

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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
392,709 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
109,838 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
88,355 supporters
Petitioning The Department for Health and Social Care, UK Parliament, Boris Johnson

Reimburse the student nurses who missed out on funding

This petition is calling for government to make the decision to reimburse or write off the loans that the student nurses currently training have had to take out during the period where the funding was scrapped. It has just come to light that the funding for nursing students has been brought back by the Department of Health. This means that all nurses who start their training from September 2020 are able to access up to £8000 to live on that they don’t have to pay back.  This funding was scrapped back in 2017, meaning that all nurses who are currently training had to take out student loans to live on, as well as a tuition fee loan of £9250. This will all have to be paid back, meaning that all student nurses who started training between September 2017 and September 2020 will be qualifying with over £50,000 worth of debt, compared to the nurses starting after September 2020 who will only have to pay back about half of that figure and will have more money to live on. Nursing is a strenuous degree, working 37.5 hours a week on placement periods for no pay whilst completing assignments and exams. All student nurses deserve the right to the same amount of funding. Why should the student nurses who have chosen to train during the time period where the funding was scrapped have to end up with double the debt as everyone else?     

Anneliese Olley
8,509 supporters
Petitioning Boris Johnson MP, Simon Stevens, Matthew Hancock MP, The Department for Health and Social Care, Dr Duncan Selbie, Prof Dame Sally Davies

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 the changes needed, but it should be compulsory for all hospitals to monitor women at risk, more carefully. 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!     

Emma Louise Bird
7,999 supporters
Petitioning The Department for Health and Social Care

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. 

Jane Herron
5,139 supporters
Petitioning UK Parliament, The Department for Health and Social Care

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[3]. 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 [2] 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[3] — 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. [1] All this is preventable. Evidence indicates that low-cost, timely intervention enables young people to flourish.[4]&[5] 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.

Our Time
4,495 supporters
Petitioning Dr. Deepak Sawant, The Department for Health and Social Care

Milk bank facilities should be there in all government hospitals across Maharashtra.

Milk bank facilities should be there in all district level government hospitals across Maharashtra.Every Hospital should have pumping room with facilities / feeding rooms. "Let's join hands to fight for the right of the neonates, that is breastmilk."According to World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative, launched in 2004, India ranks 78 out of the 97 countries under their assessment for policies and programmes related to breastfeeding where Sri Lanka ranks 1, Bangladesh 3rd, Afghanistan 6th and Pakistan 23rd. So what is the use of us being called more developed than our neighbouring nations if we cannot take care of the nutrition of our infants !Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey, both for mother as well as the baby. Baby has just blossom from the bud and if he doesn't get the proper nutrition, life ahead at him may will be at stake.We have seen many mothers moving to other feeds due to various reasons. One such feed is formula feed. formula feed sets up a vicious cycle in the mother and baby and getting child back to breastfeeding is difficult . A mother suffers from engorgement and eventually mastitis or even land up in stopping the breastfeeding fully. Other reasons why formula feed is not superior is that, it lacks infection fighting antilbodies, growth hormone promoting factor while breast milk has the essential proteins and fatty acid acids in proper quantities. A child who is not breastfed remains more susceptible to infections like gastrointestinal infections and have higher risk of developing metabolic disorders like diabetes type 2 in adulthood. There are many long term effects too such as obesity, lower IQ. This eventually increases the overall morbidity rate. So it always necessary for humans to destroy all the processes that are provided by nature?But there are problems where the mother is neither able to breastfeed nor is she able to pump. But should this be the end to it? No, we humans have advanced so much that nothing is impossible for us. We can provide the child with donor’s milk, Instead of formula milk. If a person can donate blood to save other person’s life then why can’t mothers donate breast milk to save the child from entering the vicious cycle of annihilation?Practically any mother can donate milk and in return it will help her to have more supply too. Mothers who are suffering from engorgement or have weaned their child but are still lactating, can also voluntarily go to these banks and can donate milk. So that other babies who are not fortunate enough to have their own mother's milk can get the benefits of human milk from this banks. This initiative has proven very effective for infants in NICU. Best part of such banks are, they are cost effective so that a poor mother can also afford it. So a milk bank facilities at every district level government hospital across Maharashtra should be made available. Similarly , a mother visiting hospital with her baby may need to feed baby while waiting or may want to pacify crying baby by breastfeeding. A female hospital staff at work may want to pump at work . Creating breastfeeding enabling hospital environment by providing pumping room / feeding room in each and every hospital. "When we grow up, we are taught about basic fundamental rights, that are for us and we always fight to protect them. then why don't we fight for the basic rights which the neonate deserve, when he/she is just a day old?"Please sign petition to make the hospitals breastfeeding friendly – for babies , for mothers and for hospital staff. Sigh petition because human babies deserve human milk. Thank you!  

Hussain Doctor
3,414 supporters