A final chance to comment on the snappily titled DLA reform and Personal Independence Payment: completing the detailed design arises this week. Another consultation on how PIP will come into being, it’s due to close on 30 June. Much of the consultation is taken up with the changeover from DLA to PIP, how this will work, and how long people claiming the new benefit will be given to make a claim and get the relevant paperwork together. Dense and at times confusing, it’s worth persevering and making your comments (to the DWP, not to me) so we can hope that the introduction of PIP isn’t the disaster for people with MS that ESA has been. Be warned, though, that the document is apparently obsessed with the residency requirements for claimants. You don’t have to respond to all questions, in fact, the MS Trust will be responding only to some of them.
The Department of Health in England has extended the deadline for Liberating the NHS: no decision about me, without me to 31 August. The official reason is to enable membership organisations to consult with their members before forming a response. No decision about me, without me is all about the Government’s Choice agenda. The presumption, they say, is that: ‘Patients should be able to choose their treatment wherever this is clinically appropriate, safe and affordable’ It goes on to say that ‘Our proposals do not mean that patients will be able to make choices where they contradict professional views on clinical appropriateness, nor do we expect all treatments or options to be always available’
The consultation focuses on four main areas:
- choice of treatment in primary care
- choice before diagnosis
- choices at referral
- choices after diagnosis
For people with long-term conditions, such as MS, it says that:
‘We see the care planning discussion (to develop a personalised care plan, which everyone with a long-term condition should get) as the main way in which patients will be able to participate in decisions about their care and to have a greater choice of treatment, management and support where this is appropriate.’
Underpinning the document is a move to increase the number of Any Qualified Providers, which are independent providers of community-based services, to give people choice and to extend NHS capacity.
What do you think? Is this a step forward by enshrining some rights over what happens to you and your health, or a set of washy ideas that will mean nothing? Please respond to the Department of Health
We will be responding too, and will publish what we say.
22 June 2012