Contacting your MP

Your MP represents you in Parliament. If you want them to act on the issues that matter to you, you can email or write to them, invite them to an event you’re organising or arrange to meet them in person. We share some advice and tips for effective campaigning about chronic kidney disease and organ donation and explain how to use Kidney Care UK's 'Email your MP' tool.

Why should I contact my MP?

It’s an MP's role to raise issues in Parliament which affect their constituents – that’s YOU!

It’s their duty to represent you, whether you voted for them or not, and contacting your MP is a great way to let them know what matters to you.

There are 7.2 million people in the UK living with some form of chronic kidney disease (CKD) – that's one in ten. Of those, over 70,000 are being treated for kidney failure. People with CKD and their loved ones are living in every constituency in the UK.

Kidney Care UK works hard to raise the political profile of chronic kidney disease by engaging with MPs and sharing information about our campaigns. We want them to understand that a diagnosis of CKD can be life-changing and getting the right support and treatment is vital. If an MP hears from their constituents about how CKD affects them and their family, it makes this message even more powerful. Contacting your MP helps get CKD on the political agenda.
Samantha Sharp, Senior Policy Officer, Kidney Care UK

What can MPs do?

MPs can bring attention to CKD in different ways. For example, they can:

  • Speak about CKD in Parliament
  • Propose changes to the law
  • Submit written questions to Ministers
  • Sign Early Day Motions
  • Challenge the Government to improve care
  • Write, in detail, to Ministers such as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on your behalf

Top tips for engaging with your MP

Don't be intimidated.

Your MP is there to represent you and your needs – it’s their duty as an elected public representative. They want to hear from you and they will often have caseworkers and other employees in their constituency office to support their work.

Be patient.

MPs are very busy, so don’t be surprised if you do not get an immediate response or action. However, if you do not hear back from them within a couple of weeks, email or phone their office again.

Keep it simple.

MPs and their staff talk to and read messages from a huge number of people, covering a wide range of different topics. Try to be as concise and to the point as possible – just a few paragraphs at most for an email or letter.

Use impactful information to support your message.

Memorable facts and figures can drive your message across. Did you know there are around 5,800 people in the UK waiting for a kidney transplant? Take a look at our facts about kidneys webpage for more useful pieces of information.

Be personal.

If you are living with CKD or know someone who is, your personal experience is important. You can speak directly about your experience with kidney disease, challenges you may have faced, and your feelings. This is particularly important when the government makes decisions that directly affect people with CKD.

Have a clear action for your MP to take.

Your MP is most likely to act if you explain what you would like them to do for you, whether that’s speaking in Parliament, attending an event or writing to a Minister. Try to be as clear as possible about what your goal is.

Fiona Loud with some of our representatives

How can I find my MP's contact details?

You can look them up on the UK Parliament website.

You can also use our 'Email your MP' tool to find your MP's email address.

Your MP may also have a website or social media account with details of how to contact them.

Emailing your MP

An email is a great way to alert your MP to issues around CKD. The more messages an MP receives about an issue, the more likely they are to take action.

We have created a number of email templates relevant to our campaigns on behalf of people with CKD. You can use our ‘Email your MP’ tool to find out your MP's details and select one of our template messages.

There is also space to add your own message.

You don't need to share anything you don't want to, but your personal experience of CKD is important. This is a chance to tell your story, including the challenges you and you family are facing. You might be in the earlier stages of kidney disease or on dialysis, waiting for a transplant or a recipient of one. You might be caring for or supporting someone with CKD – or just concerned about people with this condition. Whatever the case, your insight matters.

Once you have finished writing, there is an option to copy the Kidney Care UK policy team in. The email is still from you and we won't send anything to your MP ourselves, but we really appreciate people choosing to include us in their email conversation because it allows us to see what our supporters are writing and how MPs respond.

When you click the orange 'open in your email app' button it will open your default email browser, copy your MP's address and the email content, and CC us in if you have ticked this box.

You can also copy the email content yourself using the blue button and paste it in your email browser, but remember to add in your MP's email address, the subject line, and our policy team's email if you would like them to be copied in.

It’s best to include details like your full name, address, post code, and a contact telephone number in your email.

Once you have sent an email to your MP it’s likely you will receive an automated response. Please read this carefully as it may request further details which you need to send to them before they will respond.

If you have an issue you want to email your MP about that isn't covered by our campaigns, write to our policy team to offer it as a suggestion, or write your own email. We would still love to be copied in, to help us understand the issues important to kidney patients.

Other ways to get in touch with your MP

You can arrange to meet your MP by emailing or phoning their office.

Meeting with your MP means a chance to speak in person about CKD. Just like in an email, your personal experiences can have a big impact. Meeting your MP means they can put a face to that experience and receive a much more personal account of the impact kidney disease has on you and your family.

Many MPs also hold in drop-in surgeries at their office or local buildings like libraries or community halls. How often these are held depends on your MP, so it is best to check online or get in touch with their office first.

You could invite an MP to an event. This is a wonderful chance for your MP to see the work that organisations like Kidney Care UK do on the ground, and to meet people affected by CKD. An MP attending can also raise the profile of an event.

Get your MP's contact details through our ‘Email your MP’ tool or the UK Parliament website. MPs often have busy diaries, so try and get in touch at least a month in advance and follow up the week before the event.

Let your MP know the details of your event, including the date, time and location; what will happen at the event and who will be there; whether they can drop in or need to be present for the whole event; and whether you would like your MP to speak.

You could also invite the local press. Having your MP at an event could boost its profile, and their office might be able to share your event on social media.

Last year Kidney Care UK ran an event in Parliament to raise awareness of the need for organ donation, with expert speakers and patients. We were delighted to be able to meet with people with kidney disease and over 40 MPs to talk about kidney donation.

You can send your MP a letter by post. A handwritten letter can make a memorable impression.

You can still use one of our campaign email templates even if you are writing a letter. Load it using the 'Email your MP' tool, then write it out by hand or on a word processor.

Just like any other communication with your MP, your personal story can have an impact, potentially even more so when it is in your own handwriting.

Check on the UK Parliament website for your constituency office address, and don't forget to include a return address or another way to contact you, such as a phone number or email address.

If you do get a reply, we would be happy to see it to help inform our work to support patients. You could send a copy or a digital version to our policy team at [email protected].