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23 Apr 2008 : Column 21P

Petitions

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Petition presented to the House but not read on the Floor

Complaints Against Churches

The Petition of Patricia Anne Davies,

Declares that the Christian Churches in the United Kingdom show enmity to those who have cause to complain against its’ Ministers; asserts that the Methodist Church would not hear her complaint of mental abuse by a Methodist Minister; that upon appealing to the Minister herself for reconciliation, she was threatened by the Minister with legal action if she did not drop the matter, and that her subsequent complaint was ignored and that it was only after much correspondence and time that she was eventually heard through the churches quasi-judicial system.

The Petitioner further declares that the hearing refused to show the complainant evidence put forward by another Minister from her own church denomination (The URC) even though she was entitled to see it and in doing this breached Methodist Church rules, but that the Methodist church, to this very day, refuses to enforce those rules.

Further declares that she has twice called upon written submissions through the rules of the Data Protection Act but has never received a response to her request for personal data; has made two complaints about the church to the Information Commissioner’s office and they have advised the church of their breaches of the Act, but that the church still refuses to disclose the required documents.

Further declares that she has evidence to support her claim that the churches hold ‘secret files’ and that they refuse to disclose these under the Data Protection Act.

Further declares that the law has proved ineffective and an inappropriate tool for resolving this case, and that the law is daunting and expensive and therefore out of reach of most normal people.

Further declares that abuse of any nature is damaging and abusing a mentally ill depression patient is dangerous and can push a sufferer to suicide; this being borne out by the suicide figures showing that seventeen people die of suicide caused by depression every day.

The Petitioner therefore requests that the House of Commons urges the Government to make time for a debate in the House on the subject and further gives consideration to the establishment of an independent body to hear complaints against the churches.

And the Petitioner remains, etc. [P000177]

Observations

Health

Ankylosing Spondylitis

The Petition of Gillian Eames,

Declares that anti-TNF treatments are vital for patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). Such treatments will add quality to the lives of thousands of AS patients and will allow many to take control of their treatment at home.


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The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State for Health to instruct the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to approve two anti-TNF treatments for patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS); and calls to ensure that NICE guidance is implemented as quickly as possible so that these new treatments can be added to NHS services and treatments to improve the welfare of AS patients around the country.

And the Petitioners remain, etc. —[Presented by Mrs. Jacqui Lait , Official Report, 13 March 2008; Vol. 473, c. 7P .] [P000150]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Health:

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently developing guidance for the National Health Service on adalimumab (Humira), etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade) for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. NICE issued a Final Appraisal Determination (FAD) for this appraisal in November 2007. NICE received two appeals against the FAD and an appeal hearing was held on 31 March 2008. The outcome of the appeal hearing is awaited. Subject to the outcome of the appeal hearing, NICE expects to publish guidance later in the year. The appeal stage is an integral part of NICE’s guidance development process and NICE cannot issue final guidance until any appeals have been heard.

NICE was established as an independent body to issue evidence-based guidance to the NHS on the clinical and cost effectiveness of new and existing treatments. The Department of Health is a stakeholder in the guidance development process and that process must be allowed to run its course free from political interference.

Funding for licensed treatments should not be withheld simply because guidance from NICE is unavailable. In December 2006, the Department of Health issued refreshed guidance which asks national health service bodies to continue with local arrangements for the managed introduction of new technologies where guidance from NICE is not available at the time the treatment or technology first becomes available.

Clatterbridge Hospital (Wirral)

The Petition of residents of Wirral,

Declares that there is a local and pressing need for a Minor Injuries Unit and an Out of Hours service in South Wirral, and that the Clatterbridge Hospital Site is a prime location for such facilities.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Minister for Health to call upon Wirral Primary Care Trust to commission a Minor Injuries Unit and an Out of Hours service on the Clatterbridge Hospital site.

And the Petitioners remain, etc. —[Presented by Ben Chapman , Official Report, 19 March 2008; Vol. 473, c. 1049 .] [P000144]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Health:

Although the Department of Health provides strategic leadership to the National Health Service and social care organisations in England, it is for local NHS organisations to plan, develop and improve services for local people. Therefore, any proposals for improvements to services are matters to be decided locally.


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Wirral Hospital NHS Trust

The Petition of patients, families and friends of the Department of Dermatology in Wirral Hospital NHS Trust,

Declares that the petitioners have most serious concerns about the proposed changes to the care of people with dermatological disease regarding managing their conditions in the community. The Petitioners believe that such changes to services without due consideration and discussion to the effects will be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the patients involved. The Petitioners further declare that moving the majority of skin care management to the community has the consequence of reducing funding to hospital-based services. This potentially risks the loss of specialist treatments (both in- and out-patient based), diagnostic skills, opportunities for multidisciplinary clinics and valuable training for nurses and doctors.


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The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reconsider its decision and further urges the Secretary of State for Health to use his powers to reverse the continued scaling back of the aforementioned services at Wirral Hospital NHS Trust and to visit the Wirral Trust at his earliest opportunity in order to assess the views and opinions of the dermatology service users.

And the Petitioners remain, etc. —[Presented by Ben Chapman , Official Report, 17 March 2008; Vol. 473, c. 718 .] [P000151]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Health:

Although the Department of Health provides strategic leadership to the National Health Service and social care organisations in England, it is for local NHS organisations to plan, develop and improve services for local people. Therefore, any proposals for improvements to services are matters to be decided locally and is not appropriate for Ministers to intervene.


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