Archive | May, 2018

Toby with Matina Loizou, Senior Policy Adviser at Parkinson’s UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition

Chesterfield MP backs scrapping prescription charges for long-term conditions


Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, has given his support to a campaign to scrap prescription charges for everyone in England with a long-term condition, as new economic analysis reveals that such a move would save the NHS millions and improve health outcomes.

The independent research by the York Health Economics Consortium, commissioned by Parkinson’s UK and Crohn’s and Colitis UK, showed savings of more than £20 million per year if the NHS scrapped prescriptions for people with Parkinson’s and Inflammatory Bowel Disease alone.

Savings would be made from a reduction in health complications due to people not taking their medication as prescribed: previous research has shown around a third of people with long term conditions who pay for prescriptions do not pick up or take their medication properly due to the cost¹.

The £20 million would be saved by reductions in hospital admissions, inpatient days, A&E visits and GP appointments.

Attending the launch of the report at Westminster on Wednesday 23rd May, Toby Perkins MP expressed his concern that not everyone with a long-term condition in England was entitled to free prescriptions, despite the projected government savings.

Toby said: “This is an extremely important report, highlighting a significant injustice to so many people with long-term conditions in England.

“The NHS has a list of conditions that exempt people from paying prescriptions, but this hasn’t been updated since its creation in 1968.

“Over the past five decades, medical progress has been astounding, but this list is stuck in the past, omitting so many conditions that were undiscovered or had very short life expectancy at the time. I am committed to ensuring people in Chesterfield with long-term conditions are treated fairly.”

The report shows that extending prescription charge exemptions to people with long-term conditions would save the NHS:

  • £93 per person with Parkinson’s per year
  • £180 per person with Inflammatory Bowel Disease per year

And would result in:

  • 789 fewer A&E visits for people with Parkinson’s
  • 3,796 fewer GP visits for people with Crohn’s Disease

Matina Loizou, Senior Policy Adviser at Parkinson’s UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition, said: “No diagnosis should come with a bill – not from our NHS – and it is appalling that so many people have to pay for the privilege of having a long-term condition they certainly didn’t ask for.”

Jackie Glatter, Health Service Development Manager at Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition said: “The Government has freely admitted that the current prescription exemption criteria are outdated and arbitrary and this analysis clearly shows they are also a false economy.

“This broken system needs urgent reform to ensure people with long-term conditions get the vital medicines they need and to deliver value for money for the tax payer.”

Toby with Matina Loizou, Senior Policy Adviser at Parkinson’s UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition

Toby with Matina Loizou, Senior Policy Adviser at Parkinson’s UK and Co-Chair of the Prescription Charges Coalition



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Response from Chesterfield Royal Hospital to my Letter Regarding the Creation of a Wholly Owned Subsidiary












I recently wrote to Chesterfield Royal Hospital following my meeting with Lee Outhwaite, the Director of Financing and Contracting at the Hospital regarding their plans to create a wholly owned subsidiary company. I have received the response above. Their response clarifies some of the questions that had been raised and I am pleased to see that the Royal has been able to offer these reassurances, but the ongoing question about future working conditions remain, as do more fundamental questions about taking NHS jobs out of the public sector. I appreciate the clarification they offer around pensions and outsourcing but I still have reservations about the Royal’s proposals. I am in the process of organising meetings with the unions and other staff groups at the hospital.

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Toby Perkins MP: Privacy Notice and Policy following introduction of GDPR

Privacy Policy

I am the MP for Chesterfield. As your MP, it is important that I and my office can keep in touch with constituents about my work, take up casework on their behalf and ask for views on local issues.

As a Labour MP I also have access to other information which I or my office, or volunteers working with me, will use for campaigning purposes or for communicating with Labour Party members.  In respect of that information, the Labour Party is the data controller, and you should consult their privacy policy ( ) for details of what information they hold, why, and how they use and process that information.

This page explains how I collect and use personal data, the legal basis for doing so and provides information about your rights in respect of your personal data for which I am the data controller.

My responsible officer for data protection can be contacted at or on 01246 386 286.


Data collection and use

The office of Toby Perkins MP will only collect and use personal information for the specific purpose for which it has been obtained.

I will undertake casework using personal information provided by or on behalf of a constituent. It may be necessary for me to share your information with third party organisations. I will only do this where it is necessary and reasonable to do so, and I will share only the minimum amount of personal information necessary in order to advocate on your behalf. Please see the “who I share your information with” section for further details.

When registering with this website or by completing a form or survey sent to you by my office, you may be asked for personal information. In each case, I will ask for your explicit consent to use your information, and I will only use it for the purposes for which you provide it.

I may communicate by post, email, phone or text message about my work and to give you the latest news on my campaigns and opportunities to get involved. I have a legal entitlement to the full electoral register for my constituency, which includes the full name and address of every registered elector and I may write to you in connection with my activities as an MP.

I will only send emails, texts or contact you by telephone where you have provided explicit consent for me to do so. You may withdraw your consent or unsubscribe at any time from communications in any medium by contacting our Data Protection Officer or by using the unsubscribe option I provide in all communications.

I will not use personal data for any automated decision making or profiling.


Who I share your information with:

When I take up casework on your behalf, it may be necessary for me to share the details you provide with government departments, local authorities and other public bodies. I will only share as much information as is necessary to take your case forward. If you have any questions or concerns about how information you provide as part of a casework request is used, please contact my Data Protection Officer for more information.

Other than in the circumstances above, I will not share personal information with other organisations without your explicit consent.

In order to communicate with you about my work as the MP for Chesterfield it may be necessary for me to transfer personal information to countries or jurisdictions outside the EU. In each case, I will take steps to ensure that the suppliers I use comply with the General Data Protection Regulation or are subject to the Privacy Shield scheme agreed between the European Union and the United States.


Retention of personal data

I will only keep your personal information for as long as it is necessary to fulfil the purposes described in this policy. Information relating to casework will only be retained for as long as it is necessary to resolve or otherwise complete your request, although I may retain a minimum amount of information about closed cases in the event that you contact me again for help.

If you have consented to receive information about my work, I will only retain your personal information so long as I am the MP for Chesterfield, or you ask not to be contacted further.

I will regularly review the personal information I hold to ensure that its use is necessary and proportionate.


IP Addresses and Cookies

This site does not automatically capture or store personal information, other than logging the user’s IP Address or the location of your computer or network on the Internet, for systems administration and troubleshooting purposes.  I also use IP addresses in the aggregate to track which pages people visit in order to improve the quality of the site.

A cookie is a tiny text file that is stored on your computer. Cookies may be used in order to tailor your experience on this site according to the preferences you have specified. Cookies on this website do not contain personally identifiable information, other than your IP address, which itself is only very rarely enough to identify you as an individual.


Links to other websites:

This website contains links to other websites. I am not responsible for the content or privacy practices of these websites.


Your rights:

You have a number of rights in relation to your personal information and the opportunity to choose how it is used. You can:

  • Obtain copies of the personal information I hold about you (known as a “subject access request”)
  • Request that I correct or update any personal information held about you
  • Ask that we erase or restrict the way in which I use your information
  • Request that personal information you have given your consent for me to use is provided in an electronic format so it can be transferred to another data controller (also known as “data portability”)

You may opt out of receiving further communications form me in any medium at any time. All requests to unsubscribe are dealt with promptly, and in all cases within a fortnight.

If you wish to exercise your rights in respect of your personal data or have any concerns about how your data is used, please contact my Data Protection Officer:

Christopher Williams

The Office of Toby Perkins MP, 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield S40 1NF

01246 386 286

Alternatively you have right to raise any issues or concerns directly with the Information Commissioner’s Office.



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Toby Perkins MP Shows Support for Fair.Vote Campaign for Votes at 16

A plan to lower the voting age to 16 has received the backing of Chesterfield MP, Toby Perkins.

Fair.Vote is a campaign which aims to equal the voting age across the UK to 16. Launched by Association of College and the National Union of Students, it looks to bring together individuals and organisations from across the UK and politicians of all parties who believe that young adults should have a greater stake in democracy.

The Bill it’s due to have its second reading in the House of Commons later this year and has received crossparty support which shows that the political appetite for change is there. With Scotland already having a voting age of 16, and Wales potentially about to follow suit, it would be a profound shame for UK-wide elections and votes in England to be left lagging behind.

Toby said: “16 and 17-year-olds hold many responsibilities in our society, and extending the franchise would engage them in the political affairs, current events, and democratic processes that impact their lives. I would fully welcome young people in Chesterfield having the opportunity to vote at 16”

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Lowering the voting age to 16- and 17-year-olds is something that should be welcomed by politicians from across the political spectrum given the rise in young people’s participation in politics. With young people’s turnout astonishingly rising in the last General Election, it’s time to think boldly about enhancing Britain’s democracy and the future of our country. In this country you can marry at 16, you can pay taxes at 16, so what’s stopping you from having the right to vote?

Visit to find out more, and download their toolkit to get involved.

Follow the conversation online @fairvote16 using the hashtags #fairvote16 and #votesat16.

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Toby at the launch of the APPG on Parkinson’s report, Mental Health Matters Too

Chesterfield MP backs call to revolutionise Parkinson’s care

A new report, Mental health Matters Too, launched in Parliament last week has revealed a shocking lack of mental health support for people with Parkinson’s and Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, is calling for an overhaul of the NHS to deliver a more ‘joined up’ approach to care for all aspects of the condition.

Toby said, “Nearly half of all people with Parkinson’s experience mental health symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, yet only a quarter of those affected receive any treatment or support. This report highlights truly shocking findings that need to be addressed. I will be contacting local health authorities to discuss how we can ensure that people with Parkinson’s in Chesterfield get the timely and effective treatment they need for their mental health.

The inquiry was conducted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Parkinson’s, with additional research from Parkinson’s UK. The results have shown that of those who experience psychological symptoms:

  • 72% say their mental health has affected their ability to socialise
  • 50% find it harder to leave the house
  • 27% have had suicidal thoughts

Toby added, “Unfortunately, for people with Parkinson’s and other long-term neurological conditions, the NHS often provides excellent care for the physical symptoms but sometimes falls short on providing the psychological interventions and support that is needed. I will be pushing for a more joined-up approach that ensures people in Chesterfield with Parkinson’s are getting the holistic care they need.”

Toby at the launch of the APPG on Parkinson’s report, Mental Health Matters Too

Toby at the launch of the APPG on Parkinson’s report, Mental Health Matters Too

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Toby speaking to ITV news about Chesterfield's relegation from the football league

Toby Perkins MP shares his views on Chesterfield FC’s relegation from the football league

As the MP for Chesterfield, taking a pride in, and promoting our town, is in the job description. Often that is easy, but on occasions, when things go wrong, it can be tough.

The recent relegation out of the Football League that befell Chesterfield FC is one such occurrence. Founder members of the Football League Division 3 North in 1921-22, Chesterfield FC have been in the Football League ever since. Despite being in the lower divisions in every season since the war, the club have never had to apply for re-election, nor even been close to relegation out of the Football League.

Therefore, it is a bitter blow to Spireites fans that in the first season that there has been a true relegation battle the team have succumbed to relegation.

Alongside our famous Crooked Spire and beautiful Market Square, the Football Club is one of the things for which Chesterfield is best known.

The whole town has joined in celebrations when they have won trophies, and which of us can forget the pandemonium that accompanied the trip to the FA Cup Semi Final back in 1997?

As a lifelong Football fan I have taken a keen interest in the goings on at the Proact Stadium and have had a good and constructive relationship with Directors there throughout my time as the Town’s MP. Their candour and generosity has meant that I have been able to learn a great deal about the tribulations at the club in recent years.

However that positive relationship never overshadows my ultimate responsibility as the Town’s MP to speak up for the fans.

Off the field there have been well publicised errors which have destroyed many fans trust in the current regime. The club has also been undermined by the fact that it has been apparently up for sale for much of the last two years, and the owner has not been present at the club for most of that two year period. There has also been a worrying trend of blaming the fans for the failures that have taken place.

It is a telling illustration of the importance of leadership that the side relegated was amongst the most expensive (best paid) of the 24 that competed in League 2 last season.

Whilst a number of potential buyers have come and gone, and three Managers too in that short period, the need for an engaged ownership that shows the love for the club that fans demonstrate on a weekly basis is urgent.

The existing owner has bankrolled the creation of the immaculate Proact Stadium and also the creation of the most exciting Spireites team in the last 30 years or more. That should have been a legacy to be proud of. But that legacy is undermined by the relegations of recent years which has seen the team fall out of the League for the first time ever.

Whilst it is clearly his business whether he accepts any offers he receives for his shares, on behalf of the whole town I urge him to either get involved again and provide the leadership that is missing, or accept an offer and walk away.

Supporters can be simultaneously grateful for his early efforts and furious about the trashing of that legacy on the pitch, but a failure to learn that a club without leadership will continue to drift downwards would be unforgivable. Our Football club has reached a crossroads that many thought they’d never see, the decisions that are taken now will set its future path, and could not be more crucial if the Football club is to remain a part of the nation’s consciousness.

Toby speaking to ITV news about Chesterfield's relegation from the football league

Toby speaking to ITV news about Chesterfield’s relegation from the football league

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Toby signing up to Skys Ocean Rescue campaign

BLOG: We all have a responsibility to prevent plastics from destroying our environment

Over the last 20 years, we have made huge strides on increasing recycling and making people more aware of the importance of conserving resources and reducing our impact on the planet. We are all used to separating our rubbish and ensuring recyclables are in our blue bin, it has just become a natural part of life at home. Whilst many of the plastics we use are being recycled, it has become clear that single use plastics are having a drastic effect on our environment – clogging up our oceans, littering the countryside and causing death and injury to animals.

The need to reduce the levels of plastic has been well publicised and many people have become very conscious about reducing their personal use of plastic. Sir David Attenborough highlighted the damage that plastic causes to the environment and wildlife in the BBC documentary Blue Planet 2.

The food industry has become addicted to single use plastics, and as consumers it is hard for us to get away from them. From coffee cups to cutlery, food cartons to straws, we have thousands of items that are ‘used’ for a few minutes before being discarded and not recycled. A recent study established that more than 8 million tonnes of plastics leaking into our oceans and billions of people across the world are drinking water contaminated by plastics.

Activists have even taken to shredding food items of their superfluous plastic items and leaving them at supermarkets in order to make this point.

As an MP I am all too aware that we legislators must play our part in addressing the plastics problem which is having such appalling consequences for our marine life.

I questioned the Environment Minister in Parliament on this subject last year, at the instigation of constituents and local environmental groups.

Voters play an important role in keeping this in the minds of Politicians with their campaigning. A Cornish schoolboy and his Father came to Parliament with all the plastics collected from a single square metre of his local beach, which won widespread attention in Parliament.

We have already seen the positive effect of the 5p charges for plastic carrier bags at supermarkets, which shows the measures politicians can take to encourage behaviour change. Alongside taxation there is a call for a ban on single use plastic straws, and for targets on supermarkets to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging. Already some supermarkets are acting, for example Iceland recently committed to eliminating the use of plastic packaging for all their own brand products.

But each of us as consumers can make a difference. It is estimated that around 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups end up in landfill each year, by using reusable cups we could eradicate this blight. In the same way that taking our own carrier bags to the supermarket has become a habit, using reusable cups could quickly become the norm. As consumers, we can help force supermarkets to change their practices by buying loose fruit and veg instead of pre-packaged, not buying products that use excessive or needless packaging and going to shops that are making positive steps.

I recently visited Newbold milkman, Stuart Needham, to discuss the potential benefits to the environment of returning to doorstep deliveries. Switching from plastic to glass milk bottles, is one significant way to help. It is these small everyday changes that collectively make a huge difference.

We all want to protect the environment and ensure that our children and grandchildren inherit a world that is sustainable, pollution-free and beautiful. By making big changes to business and legislation, and small changes to our personal lives, we can help deliver on this vision.

Toby signing up to Skys Ocean Rescue campaign

Toby signing up to Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign



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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

Contact Toby

Tel: 01246 386286
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF


I hold regular surgeries for my constituents.
Please call 01246 386286 or email to make a booking.

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