Yesterday in Parliament, Hansard reports that Mark Pawsey, Conservative MP for Rugby, asked what discussion had been had on changes to the work capability assessment (WCA) for those with variable conditions.
Chris Grayling, Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, replied: “We are, as the House knows, committed to improving the work capability assessment so that it is as fair and accurate as possible, including for people with variable conditions. It currently provides for variable conditions, but we are implementing all the recommendations of Professor Malcolm Harrington's independent review. I have asked Professor Harrington to take forward the next review, which will include a detailed look at how the assessment deals with fluctuating conditions, to see whether we can make further improvements."
Mr Pawsey went onto highlight the concerns of people with CFS who have good days and bad days, and asked for assurance that the variable nature of such conditions will be fully considered.
Chris Grayling added: “I can absolutely give my honourable friend that assurance. Indeed, I have asked Professor Harrington to work with people who specialise in M.E. as part of his review. I do not want us to write off everybody with a particular condition. It is important to identify who can potentially work and who cannot, and to provide them with the appropriate support. That is the goal of our policy and what we will seek to do, and I am mindful of the concerns that my honourable friend raises."