General election 2024: make your voice heard for better migraine care

Ask your parliamentary candidates to speak up and help transform migraine care

A UK general election has now been called for Thursday 4 July, offering people who understand the impact of migraine a chance to speak out and highlight to those seeking power how migraine affects all those who live with it.

What needs to change

The Migraine Trust is calling for all politicians to take migraine seriously and see it as a debilitating neurological condition. We want to see equal access to treatment and reliable support where people live from GPs and pharmacists.

This means: 


Why we need change

One in seven people in the UK live with migraine – around 10 million people. This means roughly 10,000 people per UK parliamentary constituency. One million people live with chronic migraine, experiencing headache more than 15 days a month for more than three months at a time. Migraine is far more than just a headache and can be debilitating having a significant impact on daily activity, ability to work and socialise, and mental health:

  • In a survey by The Migraine Trust, high numbers have had cut down to part-time work or left a job entirely because of their migraine – 56% said their workplace had not made reasonable adjustments to support them in work 
  • The impact of migraine costs the overall UK economy at least £4.4 billion a year from 28 million lost workdays, and the NHS spends around £150 million a year on treating migraine
  • Incidence of anxiety is around four times higher than in those without migraine, and research by The Migraine Trust found 78% of respondents living with migraine said it impacts their mental health

Despite all this, migraine is still often written off as ‘just a headache’, and stigmatised and neglected by local health systems. Our support services hear from patients every day who struggle to get the support they need. Research has found huge inconsistencies in access to specialists and to key medications across local NHS areas. Waiting times for specialist headache and migraine care in England alone have doubled between 2021 and 2023, and patients and clinical experts alike have highlighted the barriers people living with migraine face in primary care.

How to make sure you can vote

Polling Day will be Thursday 4 July. However, people who might struggle to vote on that one day have other options and in the last general election around one in five people voted with a postal vote or voted by proxy (nominating someone you trust to cast your vote for you). Just as people with migraine so often have to worry about migraine attacks and symptoms disrupting other aspects of everyday life, these options could be useful if you are concerned about migraine symptoms or attacks on Polling Day affecting your voting plan. There is even an option to apply for an emergency proxy vote on Polling Day itself.

Ask your potential candidates to support better migraine care >

How, for who and even whether you vote is completely up to you, but don’t let migraine stop you from using your voice.

“It’s been hard to find medical professionals who listen and understand just how debilitating a migraine is. I had a fantastic GP at one point who would turn the lights down, close the blinds, talk in a calm way. I’d sit there with frozen peas on my head and my sick bowl next to me. He knew just what I needed. Others seem to say ‘we don’t know how to handle it’. Everything just takes so long. Waiting lists are huge and there aren’t enough doctors or hospitals with appointments or even clinics“

Antoinette, who has lived with migraine since she was a child

Key dates

Information Date
Deadline for receiving applications for registration Tuesday 18 June
Deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications Wednesday 19 June (5pm)
Deadline for receiving new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy or emergency proxies) Wednesday 26 June (5pm)
Deadline for receiving applications for Voter Authority Certificates (a form of photo ID your local council will issue if you don’t have one of the other forms of photo ID required under the new voter ID laws) Wednesday 26 June (5pm)
Polling Day 7am to 10pm Thursday 4 July 2024
Deadline for emergency proxy applications Thursday 4 July (5pm, five hours before polls close)