Duncan once again stood up for the most vulnerable people in Wiltshire during yesterday’s Westminster Hall debate on the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.
Following his previous representations to Maria Miller MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, on behalf of the Gateway Club in the Chippenham constituency, yesterday Duncan put it to the minister that despite the need for welfare reform, care home residents should not lose support for their mobility needs.
He also argued that the process of medical assessment for Personal Independence Payments must take into account the needs of those with autism spectrum disorders, mental health issues, and fluctuating conditions such as Parkinson’s and that the support given to those in residential care homes is effectively personalised.
In February, Duncan asked the Prime Minister to rethink the comparison that has been made by ministers between people living in care homes and those in hospitals – a comparison which Duncan branded crude and unfair during yesterday’s debate. The Prime Minister responded at that time that ministers have been looking again at the issue, and the clause relating to this was indeed eventually absent from the Welfare Reform Bill.
Duncan welcomed the minister’s decision to defer plans to change the support given to those living in local authority-funded care but asked that she learn the lessons of the unwieldy Work Capability Assessment and not replicate it in her plans for Personal Independence Payments due in 2013.