Ann Kelk's Petition - Nationwide Employee's Health Benefits

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Our Mum, Ann Kelk, was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer in May 2019. As lots of you know, our Mum is such a positive, amazing woman who does anything for anyone. She has been a Nationwide employee for 30 years and when she began her chemotherapy, we were really grateful that her healthcare cover, provided by Nationwide, allowed her to have this privately. 

Unfortunately Mum's cancer has spread, meaning her chemo needed to change to fight this horrible disease. Her consultant, an amazing man, advised that a drug called avistan would be the most effective treatment. Imagine our Mum's horror when her healthcare provided by Nationwide said they could no longer cover her, as her cancer is now secondary. The drug is not available on the NHS, and costs around £2,500 a month, which is not an option for my Mum and most people. 

My Mum would have got private health insurance had she known that the healthcare policy provided to Nationwide employees who have been with them for a long time, were going to pull the plug on her cover when she needs it most. Their argument is that "it says in their policy that secondary cancer is not covered." My Mum's argument is that when given a healthcare "benefit" for being a loyal employee of 30 years, you do not search through the terms and conditions which are on their intranet somewhere, in the view that one day you will get secondary cancer and therefore not be covered. We therefore believe that Nationwide are providing an inferior cover to employees which they do not actively make their employees aware of. This is not normal practice and other healthcare covers do pay out for secondary cancer -it is extremely rare and disgraceful that this cover will not cover people with secondary cancer.

Mum's consultant has also expressed his disbelief  at the fact that Nationwide will not provide sufficient healthcare cover. I quote what he said: "I am also struck by the fact that the healthcare benefit apparently excludes cover for patients with metastic disease. This is the first example of such a policy I have encountered. Given that metastic cancer is the commonest cause of death in the U.K, the current benefit provides false assurance to employees that their health needs are covered, when in fact it appears to exclude them when most needed."

We can not express the stress this is causing- having a drug that you know could save your life dangled infront of you, to then  be told that you don't have - I quote - "a fixable ailment" (Which was said by Nationwide's director, who looks after the healthcare benefit scheme and who is supposed to ensure that it is fit for purpose) so therefore you can't have the drug or further chemotherapy under private healthcare. Our Mum is more than happy to have the chemo on the NHS, but the drug she desperately needs is not available to her through the NHS.

Imagine having to deal with having cancer, and then your treatment pulled because you no longer fit the policy's terms and conditions. These are people's lives we are talking about and we were disgusted with the responses Mum has had. Nationwide do not seem to want to associate themselves with the whole situation, yet they happily promote employees having healthcare benefits to make themselves look like they care. When it's come to it, they haven't fought for our Mum, knowing that this drug could save her life. The most frustrating thing is had our Mum known the policy was that outdated that it didn't cover secondary cancer (1 in 2 people get cancer), she would have happily paid into a private cover and not be in the situation of funding 2.5 grand a month for a drug she needs.

This petition is to:

A. Ensure Nationwide employees are educated on what the healthcare cover they are given as an "employee benefit" actually covers 

B. Ensure they review their policy, which they have admitted in an email hasn't been changed since the 1980s, to cover secondary cancer. It seems their approach is well you're not a quick fix, so we're not paying out for you! 

C. Ensure that no other family have to go through what my Mum is - being given false hope and being let down when she needs it the most. 

Mum's good friend who is also a Nationwide employee has also had the same experience with Nationwide.

We hope friends and family and employees of Nationwide will support Ann. Thanks for reading.