NAT welcomes second year Harrington review of Work Capability Assessment.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

NAT today welcomes the release of the findings of Professor Malcolm Harrington’s second year independent review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA)*, which brings the WCA a step closer to becoming a fairer and more effective test for people with fluctuating conditions like HIV.  

NAT was an active contributor to the second year review as part of a working group on fluctuating conditions established by Professor Harrington and chaired by the MS Society.  The working group of charities, which also included Parkinson’s UK, Forward ME, Arthritis Care, and Crohn’s and Colitis UK, submitted clear recommendations for improving the WCA for people experience health problems that fluctuate over time.  This drew on evidence which included NAT’s recent research into fluctuating symptoms of HIV.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust), comments:

‘We welcome the opportunity to work with Professor Harrington to try and improve the WCA and are delighted that he has accepted the working group’s report on making the WCA fairer and more accurate in assessing the needs of people with fluctuating conditions, including HIV. 

‘More than half of people living with HIV experience some form of fluctuation in their symptoms of HIV, side-effects of HIV treatment, or both.  At present, they are often found ineligible for essential benefits despite having significant and often multiple physical and mental health problems, which create barriers to work.

‘We urge the Government to implement Professor Harrington’s recommendations and plan of work for year three, so  people with HIV who are unable to work because of their health are treated fairly.’ 

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Notes to the editor:

* The WCA is the eligibility test for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which replaces incapacity benefit for people who cannot work due to illness or disability. People claiming Incapacity Benefit are also currently being reassessed for ESA using the WCA.

Click here to find the report of the second year independent review of the WCA (Harrington Review).

Click here to read NAT’s research into Fluctuating Symptoms of HIV

Click here to read NAT’s research into the impact of the WCA on people living with HIV Unseen disability, unmet needs.  

For further information please contact:
Charli Scouller
Communications Manager
020 7814 6733

NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expertise and practical resources. We champion the rights of people living with HIV and campaign for change.
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