What to do with 100,000 signatures….

….take them to Parliament of course!


Your voice and your story really can make a difference.

When I spoke to my local Member of Parliament Steve Reed MP last year, I invited him to visit his local neonatal unit where my second son Jack was born prematurely. He met with staff and parents on the unit and listened as I explained how my new Smallest Things campaign aimed to shine a light on the needs of families through neonatal intensive care and beyond.


Steve Reed meets mum Rachel and baby boy Benjamin at Croydon University Hospital neonatal unit

Since then Steve Reed has gone on to host a Smallest Things event in Parliament, where mothers like Sarah Miles spoke movingly about their own experiences through NICU and of their need for longer maternity leave. He has spoken about the campaign in a Westminster Hall debate during World Prematurity month and has gained cross-party support as he now seeks to introduce a new Bill to Parliament.

ST reception

The Smallest Things World Prematurity Month Westminster Reception

On October 26th Steve Reed MP will introduce a Bill to the House of Commons proposing extended parental leave for families of premature babies!!! 

With over 100,000 signatures on our petition to extend maternity leave for mothers of permature babies Steve has a lot of support behind him; but he will also need the support of fellow MPs.

Your voice and your story really can make a difference.

Contact your own local MP now.

Share your story.

Ask them to support Steve’s Bill!


You can find a draft letter you may like to use to contact your MP here – letter-to-my-local-mp

How to find my local MP – www.writetothem.com

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

3 thoughts on “What to do with 100,000 signatures….

  1. Pingback: Finalist! MumsNet Best Campaigner Award | The Smallest Things

  2. Linda lane

    This would be amazing for parents like myself. My little man was born at 23 wks…. now being 10 wks old and still on the nnu we still have approximately another 7 wks before we can think about him coming home. When he does he will be on oxygen, I can not afford to take unpaid leave but at the same time do not even want to think about leaving him for someone else to look after while he is on oxygen.


  3. Des Warren

    As a constituent of the PM I wrote to her about the petition and this is the reply from her office:

    Dear Des,

    Thank you for contacting Theresa about care and support for families with babies born premature or sick; she notes your concerns on this matter.

    The Government understands that having a sick or premature baby can take an emotional and physical toll on any parent and it recognises that well-organised, effective and responsive neonatal care can make a vital difference.

    That is why the Government is committed to the provision of high quality neonatal services established on evidence-based good practice.

    The Government has provided over £37 million in capital funding over two years to improve facilities in maternity and neonatal care units across the country. This included projects to create parent accommodation with bedrooms, kitchen and sitting areas and en-suite bathrooms to provide a comfortable environment for parents and their families.

    The Government is working hard to make the NHS one of the safest places in the world to give birth. In 2015, a national ambition to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth by 2030 was announced.

    To support this, the Government provided £2.24 million to enable trusts to buy monitoring and training equipment to improve safety in maternity and neonatal units. The Department of Health is also investing over £1 million in training programmes to make sure staff have the skills and confidence they need to deliver world-leading safe care.

    In addition, the Government has committed to investing £365 million between 2015/16 and 2020/21 to improve specialist perinatal mental health services.

    The independent National Maternity Review reported in February 2016 and set out several recommendations designed to make maternity care safer and give women greater control and choice. A Maternity Transformation Programme Board has been established to drive forward this vision for maternity services.

    The Government will work with NHS England to consider the recommendations of the Bliss report. Ministers will also continue to work closely with Bliss and others to improve neonatal services, so that all premature and sick babies receive the best possible care.

    The Government currently has no plans to extend Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for the parents of premature or sick babies who spend time in neo-natal care.

    SMP is designed to help working women during pregnancy and after childbirth by providing a measure of earnings replacement enabling them to stop work for a reasonable period around the birth to prepare for and recover from childbirth. Working women are generally able to choose when they want their payments to begin and this ensures sufficient time off to allow for different situations, including instances where babies are delivered at an earlier date and where babies need hospital care following birth.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact Theresa and should there be anything else you would like to raise please do get in touch.


    Maya Mann
    Parliamentary Assistant to The Rt Hon Theresa May
    Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Maidenhead
    House of Commons
    SW1A 0AA
    020 7219 1304



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