What is lobbying?
Lobbying is about raising issues with and seeking to influence your elected representatives. You don’t need to be an expert on the so-called NHS ‘reforms’ to tell your MP you are against the changes. Your MP will see you as a constituent and as such is meant to represent your interests even if he/she does not agree with them.
How to find your MP?
You can find out who your MP is and their surgery and contact details at the Find Your MP website or alternatively by Googling your MP. If you don't know who your MP is, simply enter your postcode in the find your MP look up below. You can also write to your MP at the House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA
How to lobby in your local area?
You can lobby your MP in your local area by arranging to go along to one of their surgeries or contacting their office to make a separate appointment to see them (please note that MPs are usually only around for local meetings on Monday mornings, Fridays and Saturdays or during the parliamentary recess).
A good way for you to see your MP is to attend one of their advertised ‘surgeries’. It is always best to give your MP’s office a call beforehand to check whether you need to make an appointment, although some MPs’ surgeries are ‘drop-in’ sessions that operate on a first come, first served basis.
Make sure you call well in advance to make an appointment or turn up early for a ‘drop-in’ session to have the best chance of seeing your MP.
What is a constituency ‘surgery’? Just about every MP holds constituency surgeries – many weekly, or fortnightly and some monthly. These surgeries are an opportunity for MPs’ constituents to raise personal concerns and seek their MP’s help with their problems.
Write a letter
You may find it easier to write a letter or send an email. Remember to include your full postal address in all correspondence. Make your letter as personal as possible. Your MP will find it difficult to ignore real stories of why the NHS matters to you.
Keep the pressure on
If you don’t get a reply to your letter or email or don’t feel your MP has addressed your concerns, write, call and visit again. Encourage family, friends and colleagues to get involved as well. The more people your MP hears from the harder it is for them to ignore you. Don’t be daunted, they represent you and now more than ever they need to hear what we have to say.
The NHS is too important to leave to chance. Lobbying can make a difference, but it takes you to get involved.
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