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Case studies needed re restrictiveness of 6 month rule in terminal illness

 

Daphne
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Following its report on Universal credit and disabled people the Work and Pensions Committee has contacted NAWRA asking for case studies which demonstrate some of the inflexibilities in the current 6 month rule and in the operation of it by GPs etc.

One of the recommendations in the report was -

We recommend the Department adopt the approach taken in the Social Security Act (Scotland) 2018 in determining who can use the SRTI. This would permit claimants to use the SRTI if: “It is the clinical judgement of a registered medical practitioner that the individual has a progressive disease that can reasonably be expected to cause the individual’s death”

- but the government rejected this saying it expects clinicians to take a flexible approach.

The Committee now want evidence of cases where this isn’t working. Please can you direct message or email them to me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) ideally by 19 April (end of next week) as it’s quite a short turnaround for me to collate them and get them to the Committee.

     
Daphne
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Thanks to all who sent in case studies - NAWRA has sent a letter to Frank Field as Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee

     
Daphne
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DWP has today updated its guidance on medical reports - in particular the section on DS1500s. I’m not sure what it said previously but it does now (at section 2.7) say -

Your patient’s prognosis
Determining life expectancy in these circumstances is not an exact science. The form asks for factual information and does not require you to give a prognosis. Please use language that you would normally use when communicating with other clinicians.

You will not face any negative consequences from the factual information you supply, for example if your patient lives longer than 6 months.

     
Daphne
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Thank you for everyone who sent me stuff - Frank Field has now written to Justin Tomllinson based on the evidence we sent him -

“Small change” for dying, when law needs change

     
Ros
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Responding yesterday to a question in the House of Commons on what steps DWP is taking to ensure support under UC of people with a terminal illness who are expected to live more than six months, Amber Rudd said -

I thank my hon. Friend for raising such an important issue. It is so important that when people receive such a devastating diagnosis they are treated with care. So where a claimant has been diagnosed with a terminal illness but has a life expectancy of longer than six months, and they have satisfied the conditions of being treated as having either limited capability for work and work-related activity or limited capability for work, they will be submitted for an immediate work capability assessment referral. I hope that that answer satisfies my hon. Friend.

Not sure what this means in practice, does anyone have any ideas?

     
ClairemHodgson
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Ros - 14 May 2019 01:05 PM

Responding yesterday to a question in the House of Commons on what steps DWP is taking to ensure support under UC of people with a terminal illness who are expected to live more than six months, Amber Rudd said -

I thank my hon. Friend for raising such an important issue. It is so important that when people receive such a devastating diagnosis they are treated with care. So where a claimant has been diagnosed with a terminal illness but has a life expectancy of longer than six months, and they have satisfied the conditions of being treated as having either limited capability for work and work-related activity or limited capability for work, they will be submitted for an immediate work capability assessment referral. I hope that that answer satisfies my hon. Friend.

Not sure what this means in practice, does anyone have any ideas?

i expect it means the HCP will find them fit for work…..doesn’t address the issue at all

     
Oldestrocker
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Daphne - 11 April 2019 04:40 PM

.

One of the recommendations in the report was -

We recommend the Department adopt the approach taken in the Social Security Act (Scotland) 2018 in determining who can use the SRTI. This would permit claimants to use the SRTI if: “It is the clinical judgement of a registered medical practitioner that the individual has a progressive disease that can reasonably be expected to cause the individual’s death”


Is this not opening up the proverbial can of worms?
I do fully agree with the intent for change, but to actually use the Scottish model may cause a financial headache for the Treasury.
I opened up the DWP guidance booklet - A to Z of Conditions and chose ‘P’ at random.

Chronic Pancreatitis

Following diagnosis only half of the people with the condition survive more than seven years. The worse prognosis is seen in those who continue to drink alcohol. Chronic pancreatitis predisposes to the development of cancer of the pancreas, which typically has a very limited prognosis (6 -18 months). Up to one fifth of deaths are due to pancreatic cancer

It is clear from this that under the Scottish principle all in that category could well apply.

 

     
Daphne
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Ros - 14 May 2019 01:05 PM

Responding yesterday to a question in the House of Commons on what steps DWP is taking to ensure support under UC of people with a terminal illness who are expected to live more than six months, Amber Rudd said -

I thank my hon. Friend for raising such an important issue. It is so important that when people receive such a devastating diagnosis they are treated with care. So where a claimant has been diagnosed with a terminal illness but has a life expectancy of longer than six months, and they have satisfied the conditions of being treated as having either limited capability for work and work-related activity or limited capability for work, they will be submitted for an immediate work capability assessment referral. I hope that that answer satisfies my hon. Friend.

Not sure what this means in practice, does anyone have any ideas?

Just had some information via stakeholders which gives information on when claimants will be referred for a WCA on day 1 of their claim instead of day 29 which is the norm. It’s basically those who indicate that they meet the circumstances where they can be treated as having LCW or LCWRA under Schedule 8 and 9 of the UC Regs. So I think all that Amber Rudd was saying is that if someone doesn’t meet the 6 month terminal illness rule but meets one of the ‘treated as’ criteria they’ll get looked at quicker - but they still won’t get the element included until three months into their claim so it isn’t any special treatment at all.

     
Charles
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tom.lamb@maggiescentres.org
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Hi
The new “DS1500” to be used in Scotland ( at a date yet to be set as far as I am aware) at present excludes Nursing professionals from signing it off. Only medical professionals may sign off the proposed ‘DS1500” in Scotland. So yes the new regime is potentially an improvement but without Nurses being able to sign it off it may be unduly restrictive in access. The Cabinet Secretary at CPAG Conference in Glasgow on Friday the 7th of June stated she was aware of the restriction and was looking at this. So we may see the new DS1500 in Scotland being like the curates egg - good in parts.
Tom L