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Gary Berry who lives with Parkinson's and his father Ernest and daughter Amy at the 2017 Parkinson's UK Parliamentary reception

Keeping Parkinson's on the political agenda

Date

Parkinson's UK has been front and centre of the political stage over the last few months.  

We have taken every opportunity to ensure the issues that matter to people with Parkinson's and their family, friends and carers are on the agenda of decision makers.   

What we've been doing

Autumn party conferences

In September and October a record 40 meetings were held with MPs and Peers at Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservative Party conferences.

Our campaigns on Personal Independence Payments, NHS continuing healthcare and mental health were championed by our supporters Ronnie and Suzette Shahmoon and Elaine and Ed Evans. See our Storify summary for highlights.

Downing Street reception

In October we invited researchers, supporters and celebrity patrons to a reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by the Prime Minister.

The event was held to mark 200 years since the first medical report of the condition by Dr James Parkinson.

It also provided an opportunity to talk about our groundbreaking research while outlining what support we need from government to find better treatments and a cure.     

Appearance in front of a parliamentary group

In November Ronnie and Suzette Shahmoon spoke candidly to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research about their family's experience of Parkinson's and mental health problems - which they were never told was a common symptom.

After many very difficult years following Ronnie's diagnosis at 29, they are now stronger and 'happier than ever', and Suzette has retrained as a therapist.

Giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee

Our policy and campaigns lead on health, Matina Loizou, gave evidence about NHS Continuing healthcare to an influential parliamentary committee that scrutinises public spending.

Matina talked about the systemic failures that are leaving people without the support they need and the worrying cuts that are further affecting this vital funding.

Parliamentary reception

In December we met with more than 40 MPs and Peers at a reception to discuss how we can work together to fulfil our 2015-2019 strategy of bringing forward the day when no one fears Parkinson's.

Northern Ireland

In the absence of an executive in Stormont we held a series of meetings with people with Parkinson's and their carers to identify issues to campaign on next year.

Scotland

Campaigner David Allan, who has Parkinson's, recently met with MSPs from the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport committee to talk about medicine management in hospital and continuity of medication supply in the community.

We have also been raising our concerns about the Social Security Bill that deals with the devolution of benefits from Westminster to Scotland. Local campaigners have also met with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, local MSP and MP about the proposed closure of Lightburn hospital. We are now awaiting a decision. 

Wales

This year we've been busy briefing politicians on access to speech and language therapy and next year we'll be focusing on Get It On Time - something that many AMs have already expressed an interesting in supporting.

Parkinson's UK Protest at Houses of Parliament on budget day to save ESA

Join our campaigns network

If you'd like to help us campaign to get better health and welfare services please join our campaigns network. As a member of the network, you'll receive regular updates on our work and concrete actions you can take to help. 

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