After hearing of cases from my constituents and from information provided by the Money and Mental Health Institute, it is apparent that up to a third of people with mental health issues and are in debt, who request medical proof of their condition to prove to their creditors, are being charged up to £150 for a doctor’s note as proof.
This a disappointing practice which can have a profoundly negative impact on those with mental health issues. If you are in debt already then you probably won’t be able to afford this extortionate amount for a note. This payment could worsen conditions as a result of the stress.
This is why I am promoting the #StoptheCharge campaign. If you wish to get involved to help stop this practice of charging for these doctors’ notes when needing them as proof to a creditor, then you can visit the Money and Mental Health Institute’s website at http://www.moneyandmentalhealth.org/stopthecharge/
If you fill in your details your name will be added to a letter which will be sent to the Health Minister.
I also wanted to provide some information and websites which could help you if you are in the situation where you are struggling with mental health problems, and as a result are having money problems due to a lack of income.
Assistance with Your Mental Health
You can find advice on the Mind, Rethink or Mental Health Foundation websites, or at NHS Choices.
For 24-hour support you can also call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.
You can download Martin Lewis’s free guide which provides guidance and useful resources on how to cope with these issues. Especially on how to deal with any financial problems you may be facing.
But, if you need more direct help with your finances, there a variety of free-to-use advice and support services with many advisers trained to help those with mental health problems. Citizen’s Advice, Stepchange, Christians Against Poverty and National Debtline can all help.
Mental Health Issues Can Qualify You For Disability-Related Benefits
Anyone with a disability, which can include mental health problems, may be entitled to some form of payment. You can quickly check this through www.moneysavingexpert.com/benefits
Anyone over 16 who has a diagnosed mental health problem may be entitled to a Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This isn’t means-tested, so you can get it whether you work or not and it isn’t affected by savings or income.
The Form to Give to Your GP
This a form to download for your health care provider to use to tell your creditors about your mental health problems. It helps them to give clear and relevant evidence about how your mental health affects how you deal with money. It is quick to fill in and has been recognised by major UK creditor and advice membership organisations.
Once creditors have received this form, they often offer easier payment terms, cancel charges or interest, or may even write some debts off altogether.
After hearing of cases from my constituents and from information provided by the Money and Mental Health Institute, it is apparent that up to a third of people with mental...
The then Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna MP worked with small businesses and small business organisations to bring Small Business Saturday to the UK in 2013.
In the United States Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday; the major shopping days in the US after the American holiday of Thanksgiving. It is primarily a celebration of retail and shopping!
I have been pleased to celebrate the fantastic small businesses of all shapes and sizes – not just retail – that make such a huge contribution to our area’s local economy.
As such I’ve always taken the opportunity of Small Business Saturday at the start of December to celebrate local businesses by giving them a shout out on my website, Facebook and Twitter. Such is the modern way!
Small businesses contribute a huge amount to our local community. I always enjoy visiting small businesses and learning more about the range of things that are going on.
Last month I was privileged to join Gail Spavin Financial for a celebration of 25 years in business locally at San Pietro – itself another successful local business.
Other small businesses I’ve visited in the last month include Little Tots Nursery and Fluent Coaching, further illustration of how diverse and rich the small business sector is!
And everywhere I go I’m hugely impressed by people’s enthusiasm, passion and energy. Too often we see the downside of things. In the richness of our small businesses we should celebrate the upside.
That’s why this year I’m calling on local people to join in with this celebration of small business talent.
People can nominate local businesses for one of two awards: the Champion Small Business award and Great Customer Service award by going on my website.
To be eligible the business needs to be located in the Scunthorpe county constituency which is Scunthorpe, Bottesford and the towns and villages to the south including Messingham, Scawby, Kirton-in-Lindsey and Hibaldstow.
Any nominated small business from outside the area will get a shout out from me for being valued by local people.
Nominations for the awards opened on October 19 and they will close on November 9.
Shortlisted small businesses will then be identified and a poll opened to select the winner on November 14th in plenty of time for Small Business Saturday on December 4.
I suppose my message is: let’s celebrate the fantastic people who work in our small businesses.
Even if you don’t nominate a business for my award why not say well done to a local small business?
A pat on the back is uplifting and costs us very little to give.
Let’s shout out for the brilliant people that work in the small businesses across our area. After all they give us so much!
The then Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna MP worked with small businesses and small business organisations to bring Small Business Saturday to the UK in 2013. In the United...
I am pleased that after looking into statistics about Scunthorpe General Hospital and their treatment of stroke patients, they are ranked above the national average in terms of being treated to quickly.
61% of patients had a brain scan within one hour after they had entered the hospital, which is much higher than the national average of 48%. Whilst 77% of patients had access to a stroke unit within four hours, in comparison to the national average of 54%.
This is great news for the area, as strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential, because the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.
I am very happy with the work of Scunthorpe General Hospital regarding this.
However, I think that a bit more could be done for the aftercare of stroke victims.
The NHS has said that ''Around one in every four people who has a stroke will die, and those who do survive are often left with long-term problems resulting from the injury to their brain.
Some people need to have a long period of rehabilitation before they can recover their former independence, while many will never fully recover and will need support adjusting to living with the effects of their stroke.''
Locally, within the North Lincolnshire CCG, we have no stroke specific speech and language therapy or stroke specific six-month reviews.
I think that these would be very helpful additions, especially since this constituency has a higher recording of strokes than the national average.
Speech and language therapists assess people with communication difficulties and help people to overcome and/or adapt to a range of communication problems. They also assess people who have swallowing problems and advise on safe ways to eat and drink.
The six month reviews are also crucial to ensure that support is tailored to the patient, to help maximise the quality of life and help reintegrate into the community.
This highlights how invaluable these aftercare sessions could be in allowing stroke victims to be able to return back to normality and have a good quality of life.
I also hope that the national averages for the statistics concerning the wait for a brain scan can increase, as figures as low as 48% and 54% are really unacceptable.
I am pleased that after looking into statistics about Scunthorpe General Hospital and their treatment of stroke patients, they are ranked above the national average in terms of being treated...
Nic Dakin has signed a pledge to defend the UK’s countryside and wild places, and support UK action on climate change. The pledge also calls on the government to ensure strong environmental standards following the EU referendum vote. It has so far been signed by over 70 MPs from across the political spectrum.
“I signed the pledge because I want the government to stand up for the UK’s nature, and I hope my colleagues across parliament will join me. In the wake of the referendum it’s vital for us to reassert the importance of a clean, green and healthy environment – whether that is in my constituency of Scunthorpe, across the UK or overseas. The UK can and should be a world leader in dealing with environmental issues.”
Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, said:
“People voted to leave the EU for a variety of different reasons but one thing is clear: it wasn’t a vote to weaken protections for our nature, wildlife and environment.
“By signing the Pledge for the Environment, Nic has shown that he understands how important it is that we help our wildlife and countryside to thrive and take a leading role in addressing climate change to create a better environment for us all.”
Dozens of our environmental rules in the UK, including those leading to healthier beaches, cleaner air, and the protection of marine environments and rare species – from bitterns to butterflies – started life as European agreements, although in many cases they were originally devised and drafted by British Ministers and officials.
The pledge was initiated by a coalition of 12 national organisations who are campaigning together to ensure that, when these rules are replaced, it is with new standards at least as strong as those set by the EU. This will ensure that the UK’s environment is healthy for all and our unique wildlife and countryside remain a national treasure.
The full text of the pledge signed by Nic is below:
Pledge for the Environment
I believe that following the EU referendum, the UK government, working with administrations in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh, must build a healthy and prosperous future for all.
This means a thriving natural world on land and at sea, clean air and water, communities connected to nature, and a sustainable economy.
For the wellbeing of my constituents, for people at home and abroad, and for future generations who will depend on a flourishing and secure planet, I will do everything in my power to:
- Establish the UK as a world leader on the environment by committing to match or exceed current environmental, wildlife and habitat protections.
- Ensure the UK leads on climate change by publishing robust low carbon investment plans and ratifying the Paris Agreement this year.
- Create a countryside richer in nature by supporting farmers and landowners to deliver environmental benefits alongside a thriving farming sector
Nic Dakin has pledged his support for stronger national action on the environment following referendum vote.
Nic Dakin has signed a pledge to defend the UK’s countryside and wild places, and support UK action on climate change. The pledge also calls on the government to ensure...
Nic Dakin met with Breast Cancer Care in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday 12 October) to pledge his support for the charity’s campaign to ensure people with incurable secondary breast cancer no longer get second-rate care.
A survey of people with incurable breast cancer by Breast Cancer Care revealed just over a fifth (21%) of people who previously had breast cancer are first treated by their GP for another condition. And more than four in 10 (42%) do not feel their overall care is well-managed and well-coordinated. This suggests people living with incurable breast cancer are not getting the care and support they need.
In addition, a report from the charity reveals that, despite it being mandatory since 2013, a fifth (19%) of Hospital Trusts are not collecting any data about the number of people diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. And almost half (47%) are not recording the numbers fully.
Breast Cancer Care believes incomplete data for the number of people with incurable breast cancer is one of the major barriers to urgently needed improvements to poor care.
Ahead of Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day today, Nic attended Breast Cancer Care’s parliamentary event - hosted by Sharon Hodgson MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer and new Shadow Public Health Minister - to meet women living with incurable breast cancer and call for an end to second-rate care.
“It is so important to show my support for women living with incurable secondary breast cancer. It is absolutely vital that this Breast Cancer Awareness Month people with incurable breast cancer are not forgotten.
It is disappointing to find out our Hospital Trust is not collecting data/is partially collecting data of the number of people diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. It must be made a priority that everyone diagnosed and living with the disease is counted.
I am calling on the Government to do more to support women and men affected by incurable breast cancer and make vital improvements to care.”
Danni Manzi, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Care, says:
“We are extremely grateful to Nic for joining us ahead of Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day to show his support for our Secondary. Not second rate. campaign, improving care for incurable secondary breast cancer patients.
“There are still gaps in care for people with incurable breast cancer and consistent data collection is essential to enable crucial services and support to be planned effectively for people living with the disease.
“We are calling on the Government, Public Health England and NHS England to do all they can to ensure everyone with incurable breast cancer gets the best care possible.”
When time is uncertain, women with secondary breast cancer need to be certain of your support. Act today to improve care, visit breastcancercare.org.uk/secondary
Nic Dakin met with Breast Cancer Care in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday 12 October) to pledge his support for the charity’s campaign to ensure people with incurable secondary breast cancer no...