ME in Parliament: May 2008 (2)

Compiled by Dr Marc-Alexander Fluks

Source: UK House of Commons

Date: May 13, 2008

URL:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080513/text/80513w0024.htm

[Written Answers]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Health Services

Dr. Desmond Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Health,

(1) what steps his Department plans to take to assess what services are offered to children and adults who are bedbound or housebound due to the effects of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome; [203960]

(2) what steps his Department plans to take to address the geographical gaps which exist in local specialist services for people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome; [203961]

(3) what steps his Department is taking to encourage primary care trusts to implement the recommendations of the new guidelines on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome produced in August 2007 by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. [203964]

Ann Keen

Health professionals are expected to use their clinical judgment taking into account best practice and existing clinical guidelines, including those produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, to provide the most appropriate treatment for the individual living with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).

We have made no assessment of the services provided for children and young people.

We have no plans to address any geographical gaps in the provision of local specialist services. Local health bodies have a duty to commission health and social care services to meet the needs of their local population, including those living with CFS/ME.

(c) 2008 Parliamentary copyright

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Source: UK House of Commons

Date: May 13, 2008

URL:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080513/text/80513w0024.htm

[Written Answers]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Health Services

Dr. Desmond Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to reduce the average time taken to diagnose myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. [203963]

Ann Keen

Diagnosis for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis can be prolonged as there is no  specific test for this condition, and therefore other diseases with similar symptoms must be ruled out before a diagnosis can be made.

The recent guidance produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence provides a list of medical tests that should be used to rule out other conditions.

(c) 2008 Parliamentary copyright

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Source: UK House of Commons

Date: May 13, 2008

URL:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080513/text/80513w0025.htm

[Written Answers]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Young People

Dr. Desmond Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department plans to take to address the effect  on paediatric services for children and young people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome of the closure of units in Leeds, Stevenage and London. [203971]

Ann Keen

We have no plans to address the effect on paediatric services for children and young people by the closure of these specialist units. Local health bodies have a duty to commission health and social care services to meet the needs of their local population, including those living with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis.

(c) 2008 Parliamentary copyright

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Source: UK House of Commons

Date: May 14, 2008

URL:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080514/text/80514w0011.htm

[Written Answers]

Social Security Benefits: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Janet Anderson

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the procedures by which decisions are made on whether those suffering from myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome should be allowed benefits with a view to reducing the number of such decisions which subsequently go to appeal. [203916]

Dr. Desmond Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the procedures by which judgement is made on whether those suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome should be allowed benefits in order to reduce the number of appeals and successful appeals. [203973]

Mrs. McGuire

I refer my hon. Friends to the written answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, North (Dr. Gibson) on 1 May 2008, Official Report, column 588W.

(c) 2008 Parliamentary copyright

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Source: UK House of Commons

Date: May 14, 2008

URL:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080514/text/80514w0011.htm

[Written Answers]

Social Security Benefits: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Janet Anderson

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how (a) the provisions of the Welfare Reform Act  2007 and (b) the guidance on disability living allowance published in July 2007 will improve access to benefits for people with myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome. [203917]

Dr. Desmond Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how (a) the provisions of the Welfare Reform Act  2007 and (b) the guidance on disability living allowance published in July 2007 will improve access to benefits for people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome who go to appeal to get benefits. [203972]

Mrs. McGuire

The Welfare Reform Act 2007 provides for the new employment and support allowance, which will be supported by the new work capability assessment.

The new work capability assessment will be a fair, robust and accurate assessment of a person’s capability for work, reflecting the activities needed in today’s workplace and concentrating on what people can do rather than what they cannot do. The current personal capability assessment needed a thorough review to ensure that the new assessment is up-to-date and accurate, and that it will identify those people who should be entitled to employment and support allowance, including those with long term-and fluctuating conditions such as myalgic encephalopathy.

The work capability assessment is not a snapshot of a person’s condition on the day of the assessment. In assessing whether a person can carry out any given activity, healthcare professionals must take into account the person’s condition over a reasonable period of time. If there is a change in a person’s disabling condition, there will be a provision to refer the person to an approved healthcare professional so that we can determine afresh whether or not the person has limited capability for work, or limited capability for work-related activity.

The disability living allowance guidance on myalgic encephalopathy and chronic fatigue syndrome was developed in conjunction with a group of experts in this area of medicine. It gives benefit decision-makers a greater understanding of this illness and the consequent care needs and mobility difficulties, and will enable them to make better-informed decisions on a person’s entitlement to disability living allowance.

(c) 2008 Parliamentary copyright

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Source: UK House of Commons

Date: May 14, 2008

URL:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080514/text/80514w0011.htm

[Written Answers]

Social Security Benefits: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Janet Anderson

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to ensure that assessments for the new employment and support allowance take account of the fluctuating state of health which is characteristic of people who have myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome. [203918]

Dr. Desmond Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to ensure that assessments for the new employment and support allowance take account of the fluctuating health cycle characteristic of people who have myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. [203975]

Mr. Timms

I refer my hon. Friends to the written answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, North (Dr. Gibson) on 28 April 2008, Official Report, column 44W.

(c) 2008 Parliamentary copyright

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Source: UK House of Commons

Date: May 19, 2008

URL:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080519/debtext/80519-0016.htm

[Debates]

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

—————————————

Dr. Evan Harris: Is the hon. Gentleman convinced that substituting the words ‘severely impairs their quality of life’ would tighten the provision that currently refers only to ‘seriously’ In other circumstances – I am not suggesting that this would apply in circumstances such as these – we know of conditions that seriously impair the quality of life. Myalgic encephalopathy is an example. However, other serious conditions that perhaps carry a risk of sudden death are otherwise asymptomatic and do not impair the quality of life.

Is the hon. Gentleman really tightening up the provision, or simply creating more flexibility?

(c) 2008 Parliamentary copyright

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