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Tincy Jose leads King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Team Phoenix to set up national petition for free prescriptions for patients with chronic health conditions

A group of Lynn nurses have launched a national petition in a bid to secure free prescriptions for patients with chronic health conditions.

Tincy Jose, 44, and five of her colleagues at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital have kick-started their appeal after learning of Government plans to raise the free prescription eligibility age to 65.

It is third time lucky for the six, operating under the name Team Phoenix, who had their first two attempts to get the petition up and running rejected.

Team Phoenix, spearheaded by Tincy Jose, is campaigning for free prescriptions for people wit chronic conditions
Team Phoenix, spearheaded by Tincy Jose, is campaigning for free prescriptions for people wit chronic conditions

They are now hoping to garner the 100,000 signatures necessary for the matter to be debated in parliament.

The campaign is particularly close to Ms Jose’s heart, as she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2019.

She originally had to pay £9.05 every 28 days for medication before qualifying for an exemption list - something she can’t decide is “fortunate or unfortunate”.

Ms Jose believes this first hand experience is important to the petition, as she can relate to what others with long-term chronic conditions are going through.

She said: “There is a saying: ‘You have to be in it to win it’. The same way you have to experience the pain, and only then will you realise how hard it is to go through it.

“If every Monday you are paying so much, then you will realise how hard it is.

“That is why I thought if everybody comes together and supports this petition, it will be a benefit for many people.”

Ms Jose has been joined by fellow staff members Debbie Walton, Linda Allan, Gail Morris, Pamela Chapman and Helen Cameron from the QEH.

They originally came together to participate in a Walk for Parkinson’s event in July, and they have raised more than £1,000 for the cause.

Their free medication petition was officially submitted on September 24. At the moment, many people with the likes of Parkinson’s, asthma, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome have to pay for treatment.

Ms Jose believes it could have a big impact on patients’ lives if successful. She is worried that some may even avoid paying for prescriptions if they are suffering financial hardship.

She added: “Especially at the moment, with what we are going through with fuel prices and living costs rising, I know people will try to skip their medications - but that will have a big impact on their health.

“It is really important, especially the people who are getting diagnosed with long term or chronic conditions.

“They might not be able to work up to 60 years or 65 years, so it is really difficult for them to get these medications.

“I was not willing to give up.”

The six QEH members now hope the public can get behind their petition. To help the cause, people can access it at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/623701

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