Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.


21 JUN 2018

Motor Neurone Disease

Thank you for taking the time to email me about Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) and people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Department for Work and Pensions is reassuring:

MND is a terrible condition for people to go through, and it is crucial that people who suffer from terminal conditions like this should receive as much support as possible.
The SRTI procedure helps deliver this goal by allowing people with terminal illnesses to be fast-tracked without the need for a face-to-face assessment. There are, however, safeguards in place to help make sure everyone is treated fairly, including people with MND.
Given how unpredictable terminal conditions such as MND can be, there is some flexibility in the eligibility criteria for SRTI. Medical professionals are asked what they believe to be a "reasonable" expectation of how long someone is expected to live. The six month rule is very much a guideline, and medical professionals do not face any punishment if the patient lives longer than six months. Someone who lives longer than six months will still be able to receive their benefit and will not need to be reassessed until up to three years after their initial claim.
Sadly, a third of people suffering from MND pass away within a year of their diagnosis and over half within two years. But people with MND who are expected to live significantly longer than six months will have to go through the work capability assessment process. Under these circumstances, they would be able to be covered by the Severe Conditions Criteria which would usually exempt them from further face-to-face reassessments.

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