I have a favour to ask of you, well not really because this may affect you and it could either be beneficial to yourself or another with TS young or old. I came across another EDM yesterday, and EDM, Early Day Motion is basically where an MP wants to discuss with other members of the House of Commons a subject that either they are interested in personally or something that concerns his constituents. This particular EDM which has been put up by George Galloway, who some reckon my dad looks like, he then has other MPs that a behind him on this matter. You then get in touch with your own MP and try and get them to sign the EDM. parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/435 Here you can check to see which MPs have already signed.
What I want you to do is in a new email copy and paste this block of text that I’ve written, please feel free to emend, at least change the name of your MP (unless you share the same MP as me) and your own name at the bottom. To give your email a bit more welly, add your own WCA experience and how you thought it was inappropriate/appropriate. My personal experiences are the parts that have astisks around.
Dear *Mr. Byles (my MP, change to your MP’s name), *
I am urging you to please sign EDM 435 ATOS, The Work Capability Assessment and Mental Health. This EDM highlights the issue that many people up and the country have been experiencing. Although those that are experiencing mental health problems should normally be assessed by doctors, many of these doctors don’t have specialist knowledge that would ensure that a person who is experiencing mental health problems gets a fair and proper assessment. *I, myself have Tourette’s syndrome, although I was lucky and had a fair and appropriate WCA many others with TS haven’t had such a positive experience. * Tourette’s syndrome is a complex neurological condition which varies greatly from person to person. Many people with TS, particularly those that it affects to a degree that they are unable to work also can suffer from a whole range of co-morbidities that come under the umbrella of mental health. *In my own case I suffer from bouts of severe clinical depression, OCD and ADHD*. I am not alone and I feel that along with the physical difficulties that are faced by people with TS the problems that arise from often very debilitating and crippling mental health conditions should be taken into account. You can find out more about TS on the Tourettes Action website tourettes-action.org.uk/ . I feel it would be very difficult, almost impossible for a healthcare professional that knows very little or next to nothing about TS and its effects to make a judgment on a person’s fitness to undertake work without evidence from their consultant and GP. Recently I have spoken to a gentleman with TS who was just assessed on his ability to perform the physical tasks asked of him by his assessor. In my humble opinion this assessment should have taken into account the crippling anxiety and OCD that often leaves this man unable to leave his home. Like many others I believe that more emphasis should be given to the evidence supplied by healthcare professionals that work with people with Tourette’s syndrome. The Equality Act 2010 requires the reasonable adjustment of the process whereby there should be the early obtaining of independent medical evidence to avoid the distress and disadvantage currently experienced by those with mental health conditions in WCA interviews.
Currently, despite some amendments being made to the process following the report by Professor Harrington many people are experiencing extreme hardship due to the Work Capability Assessment. Currently 40% of those that have gone through the WCA and the appeals process have been successful; this fact on its own highlights how unreliable the WCA really is. Recently the BMA have called for the WCA to be immediately abolished, On a weekly basis the numbers of deaths due to ATOS and the WCA rises, that’s those who have been driven to take their own lives and those who have died whilst waiting for appeals after being deemed fit to work or in the WRAG. Thank you for reading my email, it would mean a lot to myself and many other people with disabilities in the Bedworth area (change to where you live) if you were to sign EDM 435.
*Catherine Mosey (your name, not mine)
Voluntary Policy Officer – Tourettes Action (this is me again, delete if you’re not me)*
Unless you’re like me and have your MP’s email address saved in your address book you can find and get in touch with your MP via here (on the right of the screen) parliament.uk/mps-lords-and...
Good luck, please let me know how you got on.