Petition to The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Prof Dame Sally Davies, Dr Duncan Selbie
Provide tests for Group B Strep to prevent any more avoidable deaths of newborn babies
My partner Scott and I should have been sharing our son Edward Gili’s first birthday last month. But instead of having that exciting first year to celebrate and many more to look forward to, we had just 9 precious days to spend with our beautiful son. Edward was cruelly taken from us as a result of contracting group B Strep infection at birth. On average, one newborn baby a day in the UK develops group B Strep infection. One baby a week dies from group B Strep infection. One baby a fortnight who survives the infection is left with long-term disabilities - physical, mental or both. It is the UK’s most common cause of severe bacterial infection in newborn babies, and of meningitis in babies under 3 months. Group B Strep is a normal bacterium carried by around 1/4 women, without symptoms and usually unknowingly. It can be passed from mother to baby around birth with potentially devastating consequences for the baby. But these consequences are usually preventable and that’s why I’ve started this petition with the charity Group B Strep Support. Unlike many other developed countries including Germany and Spain, the UK does not routinely offer tests to pregnant women specifically to check for Group B Strep carriage during late pregnancy. If doctors know a mum is carrying GBS, they can administer simple antibiotics during labour to prevent the infection - over 80% of these infections could be prevented. However the GBS-specific ECM (enriched culture medium) test is rarely available through the NHS. Since 2003, the UK has used ‘risk factors’ to guess which pregnant women might be at risk. Risk factors are poor at predicting which babies will develop the infection -- the number of babies infected is growing, we need to stop guessing and start testing. The ECM test costs the NHS £11 each and the antibiotics used in labour (usually penicillin) cost the NHS pennies. Had we had ECM tests in place, Edward Gili could be here today for us to see his first steps and hear his first words. We can’t afford to lose any more lives, we can’t afford not to do this.
Petition to Margot James MP
Extend maternity leave for mothers of premature babies
When my first son was born ten weeks early, I had no idea that maternity leave would begin the very next day, months before we would bring him home. Born too soon, the reality of life in neonatal care is very different from what a mother would usually expect from the early days of maternity leave. Lines, monitors, life support machines and recovery from what is often a traumatic birth. Mothers wait days, if not weeks to hold their babies for the first time and face the agonising journey home without their baby each day. It broke my heart leaving my tiny baby every day and he spent the first months of my maternity leave in hospital. The very real cost of premature birth is not only measured in terms of financial pressures placed on families, most recent studies suggest it costs in excess of £2,000 for an average NICU stay, but also upon the long term health implications for the mother, with 40% of NICU mums developing postnatal depression following neonatal intensive care and more than half experiencing anxiety and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. As a mother I needed time to bond with my tiny baby, time to recover from our traumatic journey and time at home for my baby to grow and develop before I could return to work. Extending statutory maternity leave and pay would give mothers the emotional and financial support needed at a time of great stress and trauma - in turn leading to better postnatal health, a more positive return to work and better outcomes for babies development. We call on Margot James MP and Government colleagues to recognise the significant and unique needs of families with children born prematurely and to extend statutory leave accordingly.
Petition to Professor Andrew Pollard, Head of Ofsted - Sir Michael Wilshaw, Philip Dunne, Jeremy Hunt, Nicola Blackwood MP, DAVID MOWAT, Sir Prior of Brampton, Mark Dickinson, John Morley, Jane Evans
STOP vaccination with the Influenza Nasal Spray Vaccine in our schools.
Please sign our Government petition too. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/171338 Schools are establishments for Education NOT places for Mass Vaccination * GM strains of influenza used in the nasal spray flu vaccine have NEVER been studied for safety. * There may be a risk of inhalation of particles to those not consenting to the vaccine. * Recently vaccinated children can transmit the flu to others within their community. The nasal spray flu vaccine (Fluenz Tetra or Flumist Quadrivalent) currently administered to Early Years children in UK primary schools annually. 1 This new vaccine is genetically modified (GM) and contains four strains of live influenza virus designed to replicate in the nasal passage. 2. It has a Black Triangle label, which means it requires active surveillance. 3. It should therefore be administered in medical establishments such as GP surgeries, community health clinics, or hospitals where a nurse will have full access to medical records and where parents can be present during the procedure so they can seek specific advice regarding their individual child's health. By administering it to children in schools, the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Programme directly violates the Secretary of State’s declaration in The Health Protection (Vaccination) Regulations 2009 which says there is no provision for imposing or enabling any restriction or requirement which has, or would have, a significant effect on a person’s rights. 4. Mass vaccination of children with this nasal spray, in a school environment, puts the health of staff, other pupils and their families at risk because ‘the virus has the potential for transmission’ peaking at ‘2-3 days post vaccination in clinical studies’. 5. Public Health England claim that shedding from a recently vaccinated person is negligible but it has been proven, in both school and laboratory settings, that flu vaccine strains have been transmitted to other children and staff.6 7 Even the manufacturers advise that people who are immune-compromised should not come into contact with a recently vaccinated child8. which suggests that there is indeed some risk of transmission. The spread of particles from the nasal spray has not been studied during such mass vaccination programmes so we do not know the effect it may have on non-consenting children and staff. As it contains gelatine made from pork this may have an impact on those observing Halal practice. We therefore believe that Local Education Authorities should not penalise those parents who have made a fully informed decision wishing to exercise the precautionary principle by removing their children from school for the period of vaccination and vaccine shedding. AstraZeneca, one of the manufacturers of this product, has been fined on several occasions for improper and illegal false drug claims and patent fraud.9 Whether the mass vaccination of children in schools even protects them from influenza is unknown. In 2015 the flu vaccine was effective in just 3% of cases10. Dr Tom Jefferson, the lead author of the Cochrane Review on Vaccine for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Children, states that "influenza vaccines are about marketing not science."11 12 13 We object to vaccines being administered in places of education. The mass vaccination of children in schools is a potentially unsafe procedure. Let's stop this happening in UK schools. References: (1). For the first time, the youngest primary school children in 17,000 schools will be eligible to receive the free nasal spray vaccine, making this the largest school-based vaccination programme ever in England. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/winter-campaign-starts-with-largest-flu-vaccination-programme (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (2). Each vial of Fluenza Tetra vaccine mist contains 10 million ‘genetically modified organisms’ for each nostril of each of four strains of reassorted live attenuated. That's 80 million viruses per dose, designed to replicate inside a child's nasal passages. Summary of product characteristics, Fluenz Tetra nasal spray suspension influenza vaccine (live attenuated, nasal), 4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use, updated 3rd Sept 2015 http://www.medicines.org.uk/emcmobile/medicine/29112/spc (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (3). https://www.gov.uk/drug-safety-update/the-black-triangle-scheme-or (4). In accordance with section 45Q(3) of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, the Secretary of State declares that he is of the opinion that these Regulations do not contain any provision made by virtue of section 45C(3)(c) of that Act which imposes or enables the imposition of a special restriction or requirement or any other restriction or requirement which has or would have a significant effect on a person’s rights. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/38/pdfs/uksi_20090038_en.pdf (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (5). "The highest proportion of subjects in each group shed one or more vaccine strains on Days 2-3 post vaccination". Although some of the children who received the Fluenz vaccine remained contagious for up to 28 days. Flumist Quadrivalent, Package Insert, PDF, Page 15, Transmission Study http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM294307.pdf (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (6). ‘With documented transmission of one Type B in one placebo subject and possible transmission of Type A viruses in four placebo subjects’ http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedProducts/UCM294307.pdf (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (7). However, the risk of transmission is not only to the seriously immunocompromised contacts. There has been confirmed transmission of a vaccine strain to a child in a school setting. This means that a non-vaccinated child not consenting to the vaccine could potentially contract the vaccine strain anyway. A randomized, double-blind study of the safety, transmissibility and phenotypic and genotypic stability of cold-adapted influenza virus vaccine, Vesikari T, Karvonen A, Korhonen T, Edelman K, Vainionpää R, Salmi A, Saville MK, Cho I, Razmpour A, Rappaport R, O'Neill R, Georgiu A, G. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16804427 (Accessed: 7 August 2016) (8). Whilst it is a weakened version of the virus, it is still possible to catch the flu from it. "Vaccine recipients should be informed that Fluenz Tetra is an attenuated live virus vaccine and has the potential for transmission to immunocompromised contacts." https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/29112 (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (9). The company paid a fine of $520 million to the U.S. Department of Justice for illegally promoting Seroquel and settled thousands of lawsuits involving Seroquel for $647 million. https://www.drugwatch.com/manufacturer/astrazeneca/ (Accessed: 7 August 2016) (10). The year’s flu vaccine effective in only 3% of cases. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31155332 (updated 5th Feb 2015, accessed 15th Jan 2016) Vesikari T1, Karvonen A, Korhonen T, Edelman K, Vainionpää R, Salmi A, Saville MK, Cho I, Razmpour A, Rappaport R,O'Neill R, Georgiu A, Gruber W, Mendelman PM, Forrest B; CAIV-T Transmission Study Group. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Jul;25(7):590-5, PMID: 16804427. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16804427 (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (11). The Cochrane Review on Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children published in 2012 reviewed 75 studies on flu vaccines with about 300,000 observations. It found "extensive evidence of reporting bias of safety outcomes from trials of live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIVs) [which] impeded meaningful analysis" and "evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of studies." http://www.cochrane.org/CD004879/ARI_vaccines-for-preventing-influenza-in-healthy-children (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (12). Doshi, a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, argues that the vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated. ‘Expert questions US public health agency advice on influenza vaccine’, published 16th May 2013. http://www.bmj.com/press-releases/2013/05/16/expert-questions-us-public-health-agency-advice-influenza-vaccines (Accessed: 21 January 2016) (13). Is the government wrong about giving children the nasal spray flu vaccine? Luisa Dillner, 15th Oct 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/05/government-wrong-nasal-spray-vaccine (Accessed 22 January 2016)
Petition to Department of Health UK
Allow registered birth certificates for children born from 20 weeks
Rowan, my daughter, was stillborn at 23 weeks and 4 days (6 months). I was in labour for 7 hours before she arrived naturally but she is legally described as a miscarriage and will never have a birth certificate. This ruling needs to be overhauled allowing these children's births to be registered. All babies should be recognised and child loss at any stage is no less traumatic. Due to babies now being viable before 24 weeks I would like the term stillbirth to be used from 20 weeks and birth certificates issued. I lost Rowan in April 2015 and it's so important to me that she should have a birth certificate so she is registered as a member of our family for future generations. That her branch is marked on our family tree. Please sign and share. Since launching this petition I have started working with the Mariposa Trust (sayinggoodbye.org) who are working to improve bereavement care and support. If due to legislation death and birth certificates cant be issued in the near future. I support the Mariposa trusts campaign to bring in a new official loss certificate for all babies lost whatever the gestation. If you need support or want to help the campaign please get in touch with them or follow on twitter @sayinggoodbyeuk and on Facebook - Facebook.com/sayinggoodbyeuk
Petition to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Revise Cochlear Implant referral tests !
After over twenty years of bilateral hearing aids, I have repeatedly gone through tests for a Cochlear Implant. My audiograms have been in criteria for many years but in a soundproof room I score too high on speech tests. This is not a real life situation, no other person speaking, no music, no open plan office noise. It's a scientific situation that never occurs except in a soundproof room. This needs revising and bringing up to date.
Petition to Sadiq Khan, Transport For London, Shirley Rodrigues
CLEAN AND HEALTHY AIR FOR LONDONERS BY 2020!
Dear Mr Mayor, Air pollution in London contributes to 9,500 early deaths every year and is causing thousands of children and babies to develop asthma and breathing problems.* Your target is to bring pollution levels to within safe limits by 2030; that is simply too late for this generation of children. We all deserve better! We, the undersigned, are calling on you, Mr Mayor, to act now, and act fast: CLEAN AND HEALTHY AIR FOR LONDONERS BY 2020! * King’s College Report for Transport for London and Greater London Authority, July 2015
Petition to Boris Johnson
Save Lives With International Safety Helmet Regulations. Tougher Laws In Turkey & Beyond.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my petition. My 21 year old daughter Amarna Carthy was killed tragically on a quad bike in Turkey on the 24th of May 2016. She was travelling on the back of a quad driven by my sister Jakadi (left) who was also injured. Both Amarna and Jakadi had helmets on, as you can see in the picture taken of them on the day our beautiful Amarna died. Here you can also see that the legally acceptable helmets issued, are totally inadequate. Amarna died from catastrophic head injuries and her helmet was collected from the scene, in pieces. We would like to change this, so another family doesn't have to suffer this awful loss and fly their loved one home the way we did. Compulsory crash helmet laws with possible journey distance limitations when renting quads, need to be in place so no more lives are wasted like our beautiful girl. We would also like to push for a full drivers licence requirement when renting a quad, rather than the provisional that is now in place, reflecting the seriousness and power of these vehicles. Currently it is only a legal requirement that a person "carries" a helmet on a quad or bike in Turkey, but not actually wear one. There are also no legal requirements for companies to carry out regular safety checks to ensure these vehicles are road worthy. There are no specific requirements regarding the quality of the helmets issued along with a rented bike, or quad and issuing a helmet is not compulsory. As you are probably aware. This happens in many other countries too. THIS ALL NEEDS TO CHANGE. People driving with no/poor quality helmets should no longer be something we expect to see when travelling to some countries. Together we can make this a priority around the world and by doing this.. Save lives. The law needs to be a protection to holiday makers and locals, in countries where riding without a helmet is considered normal. Please help us change this situation for the better, by signing and sharing our story with others and hopefully forcing better helmet safety laws around the globe! #missingmarna For more information or to support further please visit: http://missingmarna.moonfruit.com For Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @missingmarna Kindest regards, Tashaka Baumber and family.
Petition to Jeremy Hunt
Provide Tapering Strips to help users who want to stop taking anxiety & depression drugs
Provide Tapering Strips to help users who want to stop taking anxiety & depression drugs Psychoactive prescription drugs (such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications) are often very difficult to stop taking. Many people experience difficulties stopping or reducing their drugs even with the support of Doctors and Psychiatrists. Because stopping or reducing these drugs is so difficult, many people feel trapped into taking these tablets for many years, giving them side effects and costing the NHS money in providing unnecessary prescriptions. Many of these drugs cause a physical dependance and the best way to avoid any unpleasant symptoms is to reduce the dosage slowly over an extended period. As it is now, many people who want to stop have no option but to reduce to the lowest possible dosage then “jump off” which can be extremely challenging. Some users simply carry on taking a drug beyond the point at which it was effective and useful to avoid the challenge of stopping. A Dutch research team, led by Dr. Peter Groot and working with the not-for-profit Cinderella Therapeutics foundation have created the solution that this petition is calling for, website is in Dutch but an English translation is on the way www.taperingstrip.org Listen to my interview with Dr. Groot here: http://www.jfmoore.co.uk/LTW_episode_24.html What we want We want the UK medical authorities to trial and implement Tapering Strips which provide the most commonly prescribed medications in decreasing doses over a period of time. We need Tapering Strips to help the millions of users of psychoactive pharmaceutical drugs because: Many tablets are only available in increments that are so large that they are useless for gradual lowering (tapering) of the dose. Liquid forms for some medications are available but tend to be hugely expensive and therefore the NHS will not provide them. Pill cutting is, at best, a hit and miss affair and can lead to withdrawal. Many doctors and psychiatrists confuse the symptoms of withdrawal with a return of the symptoms that the tablet was originally prescribed for. These kits would save a significant amount of time for General Practitioners, Psychiatrists and Community Mental Health teams. These kits would help users of psychiatric medications stop taking them safely and in a controlled fashion, giving them control over their drug intake. This solution exists and has already helped over 2,000 Dutch patients. We should adopt this approach UK wide and learn all we can from the Dutch researchers leading the study. This is vital work, and the solution is elegant and brilliantly simple. For more information visit: www.taperingstrip.org