CEO of MS Society joins Work Capability Assessment Review Group

… You’re having a laugh

Dancing Giraffe - YOU'RE 'AVIN A LARFF!


Posted in National | 19 May 2012 – 3:30pm –


Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the MS Society has been announced as a new member of the independent scrutiny group working on improvements to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

Overseeing Professor Malcolm Harrington’s third independent review of the WCA, Simon Gillespie, who has been in charge of the MS Society since 2006, will act as a voice for the charity sector on the scrutiny group. He replaces Paul Farmer, the chief executive of Mind, who left the team last month.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said he was “delighted” at the news:


“Simon has agreed to join the scrutiny group, which plays a really important role in improving the Work Capability Assessment.

“We’ve already acted on the recommendations from our independent reviewer Professor Harrington (insert “Harrington” into your search finder on the Pdf or simply go directly to P.14 of the Pdf document for detailed analysis of ‘The Harrington Reviews’ – BTC), and are continually striving to make the process better and fairer. I look forward to Simon helping us in that process.”

Currently one and a half million incapacity benefit claimants are undergoing the process of assessment to decide whether they are fit to work or entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The Department for Work and Pensions so far has accepted the recommendations made by two reviews by Professor Harrington. A third review is being completed to suggest further improvements to the system.

According to Simon Gillespie, the disability sector is behind the WCA and what it stands for, but only if it works correctly:

“The disability sector wholeheartedly supports the principle that benefits should only go to those who really need them. But we want to ensure the system works effectively for genuine claimants, and does not cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for disabled people.

“That’s why it’s more important than ever that the independent review of the WCA system is scrutinised properly, and that the voice of disabled people is heard. The MS Society has been vocal on this issue for some time, and I’m pleased our expertise in this area has been recognised through this appointment.

“The independent review needs to be a vehicle for real, tangible improvement of the system to ensure fair outcomes that properly recognise the barriers disabled people face. I look forward to working closely and constructively with Professor Harrington, the rest of the scrutiny group and the DWP to ensure this happen$.”

The Dancing Giraffe

8 thoughts on “CEO of MS Society joins Work Capability Assessment Review Group

  1. JJ says:

    Give Me Your Children

    Rumkowski’s “Give Me Your Children” speech pleaded with the Jews in the ghetto to give up children of ten years of age and younger, as well as the old and the sick, so that others might survive.[33] Some commentators see this speech as exemplifying aspects of the Holocaust:

    “A grievous blow has struck the ghetto. They are asking us to give up the best we possess – the children and the elderly. I was unworthy of having a child of my own, so I gave the best years of my life to children. I’ve lived and breathed with children, I never imagined I would be forced to deliver this sacrifice to the altar with my own hands. In my old age, I must stretch out my hands and beg: Brothers and sisters! Hand them over to me! Fathers and mothers: Give me your children!”

  2. JJ says:

    It is disgraceful that Simon Gillespie has joined this panel after the departure of Paul Farmer. People should BOYCOTT the MS Society if he does not resign immediately. This is an utter disgrace to people who suffer from MS who are being stripped bare of the benefits that they rely on to live! Who does Gillespie represent? NOT people with Multiple Sclerosis!

  3. DAVID A SHAW says:

    I am stunned what people will do for kudos and cash, and as i said on earlier posts , will it matter when the GPs demand the WCA is scrapped immediately and hopefully if the government do not listen, strike ballot time !!! Seems even those in a caring role are whores when it comes to ego and bank balance inflation.

  4. jeffrey says:

    another non disabled person getting into bed with this shameful mr smith ,, natzi sympethizer what a scum bag 3000 people already dead as a result of esa how many more.
    jeff aspie and i dont feel sorry for myself but fair is fair,banks pay 2 persent disabled pay 40 persen well its only fair of course it is,,oh isnt..

  5. Jane says:

    Hardly a surprise – the MS Society doesn’t actually work for people with MS (remember they shut Respite Care Homes) they are really more like ‘ground troops’ for the pharmaceutical industry.

    so GPs call for work capability assessment to be scrapped and Gillespie wants to help shape it… it is all quite in character for an organisation that bans and censors posts by disabled people on its Facebook wall..

  6. Rachel Gladwin says:

    Saw it happening; minister visits; he gets the gong; bang – career takes off. Now he’s got the DWP hairdo, he just needs a course of high dose steroids and he’ll get the red face and bulging eyed thousand mile stare. He’s now one of them, if he ever wasn’t.

Leave a Reply