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Specialist MS nurses have spoken out about how damaging the assessment process for PIP and ESA is and how it is affecting their ability to support patients.

A survey by the MS Society of over 100 MS nurses revealed that:

90% of nurses said they provided supporting evidence for benefits applications.

Of those, 58% said they worked outside of working hours to provide this evidence.

75% said providing evidence increased their workload either a moderate amount or a lot.

83% of everyone who answered said their patients asked for help with filling in benefits applications.

One nurse explained:

“I see the effects of patients not being able to get benefits. One had to stop his treatment because a cut to his benefits meant he could no longer get to the hospital. So I feel a lot of pressure to make sure I do as much as I can to help my patients. But on average I’m getting asked to do this five times a week, it’s overwhelming.”

Another stated:

“We’re not given any guidance about what to put in these letters, and it’s not a simple process. All my patients going through this find it very stressful and some have told me how they’ve lost sleep over their applications, or had increased anxiety. Both stress and anxiety make MS symptoms like fatigue and pain worse.”

Th MS Society is campaigning for changes to the benefits assessment system to make it less damaging to claimants.

You can read more on this on the MS Society website.

Comments  

#3 Andy Grantham 2018-04-11 18:34
I have used my MS nurses to provide medical evidence for my ESA claims. I had one failed medical and that is it, due to the strength of the evidence that they provided I have never had another one. I gave them a copy of how I filled the form in and asked them to write a paragraph on each of the descriptors that applied to me and that it had to be accurate and unambiguous. I will be doing the same for PIP when the transfer from DLA happens as well and I am hoping that that will be enough for me to avoid the F2F medical. I learned very early on that the quality of the medical evidence that is provided when the form goes in is critical, yet many people don't get this evidence until they go to tribunal. Being pro-active rather than reactive I have found makes the whole process far less stressful.
+3 #2 donut16 2018-04-05 12:10
we must thank the nurses for their support.... but it must be paid for and extra staff so neither the patient and or nurses... are made to feel guilty... #jc4pm
+3 #1 lesley 2018-04-04 21:17
Have just read an article in the Times and in the Independent entitled “Why losing your money could cost you your life”. Particular article that I read is by Chris Smith, Health Editor. “People who lost three quarters of their wealth were 50% more likely to die during the 20-year study, suggesting that the stress of sudden poverty could lead to serious illness”
What about people who lose their benefits to which they are entitled by law because they have been diagnosed with an illness in the first place. So in comparison to this particular study, they don’t stand a chance.

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