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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
392,413 supporters
Petitioning The Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock, 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
373,706 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
152,285 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
109,891 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
88,730 supporters
Petitioning National Health Service, NHS, Boris Johnson, UK Parliament, Nursing and midwifery Council, The Department for Health and Social Care, Matthew Hancock MP

Covid-19 and the importance of Student Nurses to be paid minimum living wage

Covid-19 has took over headlines. The World Health Organization has classed Covid-19 as a pandemic. There is no doubt Nurses, Doctors and other Healthcare Professionals will be needed now more than ever and will be putting themselves at risk during this pandemic.  This includes Student Nurses! Before Covid-19 Student Nurses put themselves at risk equally to other viruses and infections like other paid Healthcare Professionals! Including...  C-diff, MRSA, VRE, Hepatitis, HIV/aids, Ecoli, Norovirus, Flu, GI, TB. And more! Health Professionals in the NHS are working in an environment that the Public Accounts Committee concluded 'was dangerous by its very nature'  This was concluded before Covid-19 As Student Nurses we are expected to work 2300 hours unpaid work in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in this dangerous environment with no pay. Covid-19 is affecting all of us more than we ever thought it would. This pandemic has brought to light the need for change regarding Student Nurses and the need to look after them and reward the hard work, compassion and risk with minimum living wage.  The Nursing Times has stated that Pre- registration nursing programmes place many challenges on student that can affect their health and wellbeing. As the next generation of nurses who will form the backbone of the NHS maximising health and well being MUST be a priority! We feel this can be achieved by paying us for what we do.  We care for our patients unconditionally but in order to do that we need to look after ourselves. Let's start appreciating Student Nurses as the future of our NHS and pay them minimum living wage. Sign and Share

Poppy Moore
29,271 supporters
Petitioning Richard Burr, Thom Tillis, George Holding, President of the United States, Department of Justice, NCAA, North Carolina State House, The Department for Health and Social Care, Darren G. Jackson, Uni...

Justice for Shania L. Wilson

Shania’s Letter  (A Single Weekend) Shania carried great hugs, gifted to all who accepted. She loved smiles and enjoyed smiling more. She could brighten up a room in seconds, and if the room wasn’t talking then she was talking to herself. Carrying such beauty could only inhabit introverted ways, but she never feared a conversation with any human. A fearless young woman indeed, and it was unfortunate that her passing was due to heavy misunderstandings and discriminatory treatment towards her mainly because of her intellectual disabilities, and so they downplayed her and the extremity of the situation because they lacked physician's eyes. Shania’s twenty-first birthday was months away, and she was excited about enjoying her life and moving into the next chapter wanting to become an advocate, living at Building Independence apartments with two other roommate, she were planning for her high school graduation & future at Wake Tech. Sadly, she passed away in the back of an ambulance that waited nearly 20 minutes to leave after packing her and her mother into the truck. Her brother waited calmly in the car, waiting for an abrupt takeoff. Shania had moments in her life that it became a struggle to fully explain her pain to physicians, but after 4 check-ups and 2 days (Friday, Saturday) Shania passed on the next morning of. That morning her skin was pale and lips dry, but yet the people spoke as if she was completely fine. The call was handled inappropriately and when given that tape, her mother was given a chopped version. It was bizarre. Like watching common reality turn against you, and through all the crying and a lady calming down her mother, it was a room full of doctors, and her brother stared her down wondering if she was in pain. He says, “She is strong, and I vow to be just as strong one day.” Her mother had believed 4 trips to the hospital were enough, and every time was a basic pat on the back. Each time, Shania grew weary and grew pains like none other. After a while moving around came in very sharp pains and a simple weekend became the passing of a beautiful girl named, Shania Wilson. Nearly dragged off the couch, not carefully handled. The mistreatment of someone because you may not understand their behavior is outward wrong. A quick judgment could be the end of someone’s life, and if that were your child you would have lots to say about the witnessed neglect and passionless direction of the healthcare system.  “The healthcare system failed my daughter... a vibrant, smart, and happy beautiful black young woman.”  -Shania’s mother The unfair, non protective, and unequal attributes for those with disabilities within the healthcare system, has caused countless unforgettable and unnecessary deaths. Not only is this present in the black communities, but is common in all communities across the United States. I am creating this petition to give a voice to the voiceless and I hope that no child will have to endure what my daughter went through and no parents will have to experience the death of their child in this way. I will be introducing an idea for a bill, to local congressmen, that will protect anyone, with a disability, who is nonverbal or is unable to fully explain enough of what’s going on with them in an emergency situation. Also amendment North Carolina’s Senate Bill 33 allowing healthcare professional to be held responsible for their mistakes. You can support by signing this petition, and hopefully bring justice towards my daughters story and gratefully, one day, begin to hold the healthcare professionals responsible for the necessities of respectful and honorable care. Thank you, everyone   

Leoma Wilson
28,744 supporters