Personal Independence Payment: Regulations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:40 pm on 29th March 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Twigg Stephen Twigg Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee 4:40 pm, 29th March 2017

My hon. Friend makes his point very powerfully.

The other condition I wanted to say something about is epilepsy. I am one of the honorary vice-presidents of Epilepsy Action, an organisation that has also been in touch with me today to say that that they fear that these proposals could penalise people with epilepsy who might rely on support or supervision to manage their medication and monitor their health condition. The DWP’s own case study recognises that a person with epilepsy who has a seizure might need a friend or carer to administer medicine, without which they might go into status epilepticus. We know that that can lead to brain damage or to death.

I reaffirm what my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham East and Saddleworth said from the Front Bench. We have an opportunity through this debate to raise concerns on a cross-party basis, but I urge the Government to listen to those concerns. As Heidi Allen said earlier, we have been sent a message by the tribunals about parity between mental and physical health. Let us say clearly that we have listened to that message and urge the Government to reconsider the regulations.