• A National Suicide Bereavement Service
    In Britain there is a suicide every 90 minutes and research suggests that it could be three times higher than this, as coroners often return verdicts of misadventure or open verdicts. For every suicide 6 to 8 people are intimately affected, with many more having resultant bereavement problems. To lose someone you love through suicide is indescribably awful. It has been referred to as a personal holocaust. People torture themselves with a million questions of ‘Why?’ There is a whole kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings stirring around in a pit of despair. The sense of rejection can be crushing too. How can he have loved me to do what he did? Then there is the searing guilt - if only I’d done this or that-the replaying in the mind of countless permutations of possible scenarios of what may have been. Over 30 years ago, I was bereaved through my father’s suicide. At that time there was no support available to my sister and I, other than what we could offer each other. It was incredibly hard. My sister became depressed and I went with her to see a psychiatrist who just told her to take tablets. There was no referral to a counsellor to whom she could ventilate her feelings. I was only 19 at the time and knew nothing about mental health problems and distress. However, common sense and intuition told me she needed someone to talk to but this was not on offer. The tablets had all sorts of nasty side effects and my sister gave up taking them. As a consequence, she became more depressed and suffered with depression for many more years. It is a fact that people bereaved through suicide are more likely to have mental health problems and be at increased risk of suicide themselves. In general terms, men have a lot more difficulty than women discussing their emotional issues and problems. Male macho culture, and the concept that ‘big boys don’t cry’ is still very much around and accounts for the fact that many more men than women take their own lives. There is also a strong need to develop culturally sensitive suicide bereavement/prevention services to people from ethnic minorities and asylum seekers and refugees. Another important need is to develop a suicide bereavement service for children and young people this by its very nature will demand a skilful, sensitive and specialised response. Another area of concern are mental health workers who loses service users through suicide. These workers need help and support in the distress that they are experiencing and often with the guilt around their perceived professional failure towards the person they have lost. We need to build a coalition of interested organisations to develop a national suicide bereavement response this also needs to be incorporated into the National Suicide Prevention Strategy similar to that developed in Australia. Presently in Britain we have a number of voluntary groups trying to provide a good service but limited by inadequate funding. This leads to a postcode lottery with some provision in some places and little or nothing elsewhere. Suicide bereavement and prevention are opposite sides to the same coin if we do not provide good support to those bereaved through suicide we will have further suicides. There is a lot of good evidence that properly run Suicide Bereavement support groups save lives and help to reduce mental and emotional distress. I was involved in running the Leeds organisation of Survivors of Suicide for 15 years and I know that during that time the group really helped many people bereaved through suicide and I am sure it played an important role in preventing further suicides. The Samaritans have people bereaved through suicide as one of their priority groups. I gave a keynote speech at the National Samaritans Conference in September 2009 on the “Impact of Suicide on Others” and highlighted the need for a national response. This is clearly necessary as, every day, people are being bereaved through suicide. They are an overlooked, badly neglected group of people, whose acute needs and problems are very considerable and warrant a compassionate, well-organised and systematic response. If we live in a civilised society is this too much to ask? Common humanity demands that we take effective action but, in addition, a fully funded National Suicide Bereavement Strategy would, in fact, prove to be very cost-effective because of its effect of in relieving mental distress and helping to reduce further suicides’. We desperately need a national, well-funded, organised, compassionate response to people bereaved through suicide throughout the country as soon as possible. I am delighted to say that the Samaritans are very supportive of the need for this. Mike Bush Consultant in Mental Health Retired Mental Health Social Worker Member of the Leeds Suicide Prevention Strategy Member of the All Party Group Suicide and Self Harm Prevention
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    Created by Mike Bush
  • Action against parking meter fines
    Visitors to town shopping centres and leisure areas are changing their shopping habits. Visits to localities where parking meters are installed and heavy fines are imposed,only deter visitors to these locations. Finding a fine for overstaying by a few minutes as high as £80 is grossly exorbitant. Few can afford to pay that amount so will not return also they are likely to warn others not to go there. The leisure companies lose out, the town centre shop owners lose out. The only ones to benefit are the parking meters installed companies.
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    Created by Jean Sampson
  • Save North Tees & Hartlepool Hospital
    The NHS is very important to us as it is to millions of people in this Country.Myself and family have a lot to thank the doctors,nurses and staff as they saved the lives of our two grandchildren when they were babies both suffered from a virus which nearly killed them both. Thanks to the doctors and nurses they are both fit and well aged 11 years old and 8 years old.Our son who has a genetic conditon also has a lot to thank our local hospital and a hospital in Sunderland who done their best for our sons eye sight they give him years of sight and fought very hard to save his sight but sadly 3 years ago he lost his sight.He then went on to have a stroke at the age of 24 years old through the skill and care he recieved by James Cook Hospital he has pulled through with no lasting effects. So for us our NHS is the best in the World and fighting these cuts in services like a hospital a few miles away from us is having to run a monthly care boot sale to pay for front line services.This should not have to happen to our NHS we care passionatly as we do about our GP's service.Thank You.Ron,Viv
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    Created by Ron Carter-Bonsteel
  • Stop Female Genital Mutilation
    When a girl undergoes female genital cutting, some or all of her external genitals are cut away. This can be part or all of her labia, part or all of her clitoris and part or all of her clitoral hood (the prepuce). In its most extreme form, all of her external genitals will be cut away. This often happens in very basic circumstances with rudimentary tools; it is unlikely that there will be any anaesthetic or sterile conditions and often severe and life threatening complications follow FGM. In the harshest form of FGM, the wound that is left may be sewn closed with thorns or string and only a small hole is left for menstrual blood and urine. The wound then heals over and the scar tissue “seals” her vagina. When she is married she will then have to be cut open to make sexual intercourse possible, often on her wedding night. When she goes into labour, she has to be cut open again. After this she may be re-sewn and cut open again every time she conceives and gives birth. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies FGM into four categories dependent on severity (initially there were three categories, the fourth was added later): Type I: Also known as clitoridectomy, this type consists of partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or its prepuce. Type II: Also known as excision, the clitoris and labia minora are partially or totally removed, with or without excision of the labia majora. Type III: The most severe form, it is also known as infibulation or pharaonic type. The procedure consists of narrowing the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora and/or labia majora, with or without removal of the clitoris. The appositioning of the wound edges consists of stitching or holding the cut areas together for a certain period of time (for example, girls’ legs are bound together), to create the covering seal. A small opening is left for urine and menstrual blood to escape. An infibulation must be opened either through penetrative sexual intercourse or surgery. Type IV: This type consists of all other procedures to the genitalia of women for non-medical purposes, such as pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization. The usual age for girls to be cut is between five and eight although in some communities, girls undergo FGM in their early teenage years and the procedure acts as a rite of passage into womanhood. Throughout history barbaric practices have been stopped mainly through a sustained process of education and legislation. FGM has continued because it has been a secretive and taboo subject. It is time to break the silence, educate and legislate, and eradicate FGM totally.
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    Created by Beccy Roberts
  • Re-nationalise Britain's Infrastructure
    Why should a select minority make a profit from services which we all need and which could, with proper strategic investment, make Britain a more competitive player in the world.
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    Created by phil milston Picture
  • Save our Blood Plasma Service
    The government is planning to sell off Plasma Resources UK, the firm responsible for supplying blood plasma products to the NHS, to a private contractor. We, the undersigned feel that this is unacceptable for the following reasons: 1. Blood plasma is essential for the treatment of many conditions, including burns, shock and major trauma; immune disorders and neurological conditions; protecting unborn children from haemolytic diseases. Possibly best known plasma product is Factor VIII used to treat around 3,000 haemophilia patients. 2. The profit impetus may compel any company taking over services to cut corners in order to make return. This could have devastating consequences for patient safety should contaminated, poorly packaged or improperly labelled products reach frontline healthcare services. The next part of this section is a fuller statement about Blood Plasma and why it is so important to stop the sell off of Plasma Resources UK. It shows how the Government has already split plasma services away from the National Blood Service so that part of what was a unified Blood Transfusion Service can be sold off for profit. Read on: First of all an apology. I started this petition on 38 Degrees after seeing and signing a similar one on the Government ePetition website. After doing a little research of my own and receiving an email via this site, it is clear that the Blood Transfusion Service (NHSBT) is not being sold off. However, Mr. Lansley has been party to breaking up NHSBT in 2011. It is the part that he has separated off that he is looking to sell off. That company is Plasma Resources UK (PRUK), the principal supplier of plasma and plasma products to the NHS. Blood and Plasma are obviously ‘joined at the hip’. When a donor gives a pint of blood, 55% of that fluid by volume is plasma. Much of today’s service is about producing blood and plasma products for the treatment of a wide range of patients. Treatments using plasma products are no less important than those using blood products. You have only to ‘google’ medical uses of plasma to find out the wonderful way its products can influence patients lives, such as the treatment folk suffering from burns, shock and major trauma; immune disorders and neurological conditions; protecting unborn children from haemolytic diseases. Possibly best known plasma product is Factor VIII used to treat around 3,000 haemophilia patients. The work of producing these valuable plasma products (there are hundreds of them) has been carried out by the Bio Products Laboratory (merged with the Blood Service in 1993 and now called Bio Products Limited (BPL)). Plasma Resources UK (PRUK) is the Health Dept company that manages the supply of blood plasma from the US through US based British owned company DCI Inc, which has been necessary since the BSE outbreak and concerns about people developing vCJD. For some years there has been a particular strategy to reduce the dependency of NHSBT's blood products division (BPL) on government subsidies. ‘Our Fractionated Products division (BPL) operates in competitive markets across the UK and globally with other multi-national pharmaceutical companies. A key strategic goal has been to move this part of our organisation into a profitable trading position. This was achieved during 2008/09 thanks to the continued growth in sales and throughput. Our future plans seek to sustain and build on this performance.’ Just a year later this part of the Blood Service was hived off to a separate division from NHSBT: ‘On 1 January 2011 Bio Products Laboratory was transferred into a new legal entity, Bio Products Laboratory Limited, a 100% owned subsidiary of Plasma Resources UK Limited (PRUK), which is 100% owned and managed by the Department of Health.' There are concerns about ‘blood and plasma markets’ in the US. The cost to DCI includes payment to donors. The market has also been described as working like a monopoly or cartel, where at one extreme price can be fixed or competition can be fierce leading to among other things attempts to reduce costs and all the inherent dangers in that. This market in the USA has been described as representing “everything wrong with American-style capitalism”. It is too early to know what relationship a privatised PRUK would have with the NHS and hence what the implications to the NHS might be in terms of cost and guarantees about supply. I recall that a few years ago there were fears of a flu epidemic (I think) and it was found that vaccine originally destined for this country was redirected to other countries where the Pharmaceutical Company could get a higher price. Could the same happen with a privatised Plasma Products company? If the time comes when we can recommence plasma donations in this country, would anyone sign up if their altruistic gift was given to a company concerned with making a profit from it?
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    Created by Geoff Dunbar Picture
  • Declare the Arctic an International Park off limits to Exploitation
    Because we are at The Tipping Point, ie close to the point of no return, it is patently obvious to all and everyone who has some concern for their environment that change is 'HERE' and unless and until we recognise it and are willing to do something about it we are doomed to disaster, the most obvious sign is the 'WEATHER' It cannot have escaped peoples notice that it is now completely unpredictable, OIL is one of the main reasons for this, it is a fuel burned and leads to 'GREENHOUSE GASES' trapped in the atmosphere, cutting down the tropical rainforests where much of these are stored releases more and upsets the balance in our 'ECOSYSTEM', causing the Gulf Stream to slow down before it reaches our shores hence the meeting of colder air and setting off changeable and uncontrolled weather conditions
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    Created by Paul Lane
  • Unecessarily high voltage mains supplies
    The official minimum voltage is 216.2 and all appliances will work with this. For every 10 volts above this your bill will be approximately 8% higher! So, my 255 volts could be costing me at nearly 27% extra on my bills. Carbon release is also unecessarily increased.
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    Created by Ron Gager
  • Campaign Against Tax Havens -Campaign against businesses in Britain using Tax Havens
    This CON has gone on for my lifetime and I am now 85 I have contacted my local MPs over the years to no avail. Should the rich renage on their taxes when their wealth is made here in Britain?
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    Created by Josie Herbert
  • STOP the Bedroom Tax
    Societies are judged by how they take care of their most vulnerable. As you yourself, Mr Cameron, put it so very well: "...Fairness means giving money to help the poorest in society. People who are sick, who are vulnerable, the elderly - I want you to know we will always look after you. That's the sign of a civilised society and it's what I believe..." ... David Cameron 6 Oct 2010 Those in power should not be cynically trying to distract the public by attacking the weakest; the young, students, immigrants, sick, disabled and elderly. Don't expect everyone to be fooled by these tactics for too much longer. Sooner or later, they'll wake up and realise that they're next in line. Why not make our democratic society fairer by asking more from those who can afford it - those who have profited most from the shrinkage and privatisation of our national assets; the corporate companies, the bankers, CEOs and executives, the politicians with their own private health care companies, beancounters and lawyers, shareholders, the hedgefund managers, the private equity companies, PFI contractors, russian oligarchs, and other rich and thriving individuals? The lucky wealthy have grown richer by exploiting the poor and powerless, and this 'Bedroom Tax' is yet another attempt to reduce the welfare state. Meanwhile the government continues to cut, chipping away at our welfare state, disparaging worker representation through Unions, closing hospitals, schools, public housing, swimming pools, libraries, welfare benefits, ad nauseum. The rich don't need, and don't want to pay for, any of the welfare state - they just want to benefit from the rich prizes of opportunity as public services collapse, and they pick up the cherries. And, of course their wealth has grown enormously since the recession started. Despite the poor losing their homes, the wealthy continue to do very nicely "Thank you very much" on their fat salaries and fat pensions, insider / offshore dealings, their directorships, private schools, investments, private healthcare, property portfolio, gyms, golf clubs, not forgetting their offshore: bank accounts, companies, and lavish homes with untaxed spare bedrooms galore. Why are they so greedy? Why do they need my bedroom? Will they force me out of my home?
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  • Say YES to Newark Hospital
    All patients (50,000) from the Newark district have to travel a minimum of 25 miles to a hospital when we had a perfectly good service given by our own hospital in the town. The A&E as been down graded to what is known locally as a Bumbs & Bruises (B&B). The front line staff numbers have been cut. All this was done we believe without full consultation. Finally lives are being put at risk because of time and distantance and lack of ambulance cover. We are asking Andrew Lansley for a full review without sucess.
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    Created by Vic Hall
  • Save Remploy
    The employees of Remploy are mainly disabled and their work there provides them with a high degree of independance, self esteem and the benefits of working with other people. closing these factories, especialy in the current economic climate is likely to throw them on the mercy of the benefits system.
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    Created by Adrian Coulman Picture