… You’re having a laugh
Posted in National | 19 May 2012 – 3:30pm –
IMPORTANT NOTE: LINKS TO ARTICLES ARE BLACK TRIANGLE’S AND NOT THE DANCING GIRAFFE’S!
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.
“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$.”