Freedom of information request reveals 188,000 responses to mass vaccination consultation by UK Dept of Health
Do you remember a few weeks back we launched a 'Say it now' campaign to ask as many of you as possible to respond to a UK government consultation on the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) plans to amend UK medicine laws in readiness for mass vaccination? These changes allowed the UK to be the first country in the world to issue emergency authorisation to a covid vaccine.
The shares and video views we received on this one issue outnumbered any we've previously had. They may have been responsible too for us being subsequently censored on YouTube so we're now having to use other platforms for some of our video content, especially as it relates to vaccines. That means the primary access to our video content is now from our website at www.anhinternational.org/videos.
A group of journalists at the Mirror Project also drew attention to the consultation. But cutting a long story short, given that the government roundly proceeded with its planned approach almost completely ignoring the substantive concerns we'd outlined (we issued guidelines to help our supporters with their submissions), we thought it important we get some sense of the scale of responses, in relation to all other consultations conducted by the DHSC, over the last 10 years.
So we recently submitted a freedom of information request to the DHSC to find out the number of responders for the DHSC consultations with the 10 highest number of responses over the last decade. It turns out 188,000 responses were made - a truly staggering figure. This comprised 77% of all responses in the 10 consultations that received the highest number of responses over the last decade came from the most recent one that was the focus of our campaign, namely "Distributing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 and flu".
This is an important part of the paper trail we're developing with regard to future campaigns and potential legal actions. We want to thank all of you who contributed to this piece of history.
The detail is below.
Table: Ten DHSC consultations with the highest number of responses in the last ten years
Number of responses
% of total responses to top 10 ten consultations
Name of consultation
Date of consultation
Distributing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 and flu
August 2020 - September 2020
Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England
December 2017 - March 2018
Setting the mandate to NHS England for 2016 to 2017
October 2015- November 2015
Availability of gluten-free foods on NHS prescription
March 2017 - June 2017
An Information Revolution: a consultation on proposals
October 2010 - 14 January 2011
Early years healthy development review: call for evidence
September 2020 - October 2020
Liberating the NHS: developing the healthcare workforce
December 2010 - March 2011
Opt-out organ donation: organs and tissues excluded from the new system
April 2019 - July 2019
Next steps for Nursery Milk
June 2012 - September 2012
The regulation of medical associate professions in the UK