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This article was published in November 2010. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

We need ten minutes of your time today

19 Nov 2010

On Wednesday 24 November, there will be a reading in the House of Commons of a Ten Minute Rule Bill for epilepsy.

A Ten Minute Rule Bill is a potential new bill for consideration, proposed by an MP who is not a member of government. Although not many Ten Minute Rule Bills make it into law, there is always a chance that it might.  It can happen if the government agrees with the cause and is happy to absorb it into other Bills it is passing.

The Ten Minute Rule Bill for epilepsy has been proposed by Valerie Vaz MP.  The bill calls for an action plan for improving health and education for people with epilepsy. The Joint Epilepsy Council of the UK and Ireland estimates that poor services for people with epilepsy cost the government £4,185 every 10 minutes. We hope the bill will gain the enthusiasm of MPs and earn a second reading.

The first hearing will be on Wednesday 24 November straight after Prime Minister’s Questions. That’s probably the busiest time of the week in the House of Commons so there’s a very good chance your MP will be there.  We would like them to stay in the chamber for 10 more minutes to help raise epilepsy awareness.

We’d like everybody with an interest epilepsy in the UK to do the following:

  • Contact your local MP.  You can find out who your MP is, and contact them, through www.writetothem.com
  • Tell them that there’s going to be a reading of the Ten Minute Rule Bill on Epilepsy and Related Conditions (Education and Health Services) Bill straight after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 24th November.
  • Ask them if they are going to be in the House of Commons chamber for Prime Minister’s Questions. If they are, would they stay in the chamber for 10 minutes to support the bill.
  • Tell them your experiences of epilepsy and epilepsy care.  How does epilepsy affect you? How good or bad are the services for epilepsy in your area?

If you hear back from your MP, please let us here at Epilepsy Action know what they say.

The more MPs we can get to support the Bill, the greater we can raise awareness of epilepsy.

If you have any questions about this, please contact our campaigns and policy officer Pete Scott on 0113 210 8800 or by email at pscott@epilepsy.org.uk.

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