We exist to improve the lives
of everyone affected by epilepsy

Our campaigns team reacts to the Conservative manifesto

Political neutrality

Charity law prevents us from supporting any political party over another.

Our responses to the three main party manifestos are impartial.

Yesterday the Conservatives published their manifesto for the 2017 general election. Here are our thoughts on some of their key announcements and how they could impact people with epilepsy.

Health

With the launch of the Conservative manifesto it’s clear that should they form the next government, neurology will not be a priority for them in healthcare. They are confident that the Five Year Forward View (which sets out NHS England’s current priorities), is working. Unfortunately the Five Year Forward View does not mention neurology.

The manifesto does however state that “our commitment to consistent high quality care for everyone applies to all conditions.” The Conservatives say they will set new standards in priority areas and improve their response to historically underfunded and poorly understood disease groups. We hope that this will provide neurology with the platform it desperately needs. This would then mean better quality services for people with epilepsy.

The Tories have said they will implement the recommendations in the Accelerated Access Review.  We support these recommendations and believe they will have a positive impact on healthcare services for people with epilepsy.

We know that when people with epilepsy understand their condition better, their seizure control improves. This can be seen in our Epilepsy and you programme. We welcome the Conservative pledge to empower patients in this area. But for these proposals to be effective they must be developed with the people who use them. 

Employment

Employment is a big concern for people with epilepsy. The Conservatives continue to say they will increase the number of disabled people in employment, changing their previous commitment to one that is clearer and measurable. This would make it easier for us to hold them to account. While in government the Conservatives produced a green paper on disability and employment. We made a number of recommendations to the government in response. If re-elected, we hope they will continue to work with, and listen to, disabled people and disability organisations.

Employers can be one of the biggest barriers to employment for people with epilepsy. The Conservative manifesto says they will work with employers by encouraging them to employ more people with a disability. The manifesto highlights the importance of working with employers to improve the workplace for people with mental health conditions. They say they will extend the Equality Act protections against mental health conditions that are episodic and fluctuating. Epilepsy is not a mental health condition, although it can often be confused with one by decision makers. It is, however, episodic and fluctuating. We hope that these proposals will open the door for epilepsy.

Welfare and benefits

We are disappointed that welfare and disability benefits are barely mentioned in the Conservative manifesto. While they state there will be no ‘radical’ reform, they refuse to rule out further cuts to disability benefits.

Disabled people have been hit significantly by cuts and changes to benefits during the last government. Many people and disability organisations have raised their concerns publicly. It is disappointing that the Conservatives have done nothing to allay the fears for disabled people of another Conservative government.

People with epilepsy are being hit particularly hard. We know that the assessment processes for Personal Independent Payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) are failing people with epilepsy. We had hoped that the Conservative manifesto would consider a review of the assessment process. It is disappointing that problems with these benefits seem to have ignored.

Keep up-to-date on our work for General Election 2017

Event Date: 
Tuesday 16 May 2017 - 14:46

Comments: read the 3 comments or add yours

Comments

I would like to know why you are treating epilepstics so badly with their PIP and I don't know any epileptics that have been put straight through but I do know many others like diabetics that have put straight through. At the end of the day it is not our fault that you cannot see the problem we have all the time but neither can you with diabetics. Why are more of them being putting through straight away. They even caused themselves to have diabetes by eating too many products that are sweet. No epileptics caused their problems themselves. With my Pip I lost and was given zero points, so I appealed and won my appeal, you guys then appealed against me and sent it to another judge to be looked into. I won this appeal too. I even received a letter telling me that you guys couldn't take this to the Upper Tribunal. Next thing I know this got sent to the Upper Tribunal as you appealed again. I am still waiting now and have been waiting for over one and a half years now. I am not happy that you keep appealing against me.

Submitted by Lisa Kemsley on

Changes in the assement for disability benefits are unfair to those who have a neurological condition such as epilepsy. The questions asked are not taking into consideration that one day you may be able to do something but next you can’t and it doesn't take into consideration if it is safe to do it due to the risks
may be able to use a cooker but history has proved that it is not safe to do it on my own i was lucky that i did not kill myself and others in next door properties when i was using a cooker to do I came around to someone talking to me and it was firemen as my neighbour had called 999.
These are just a few of the many situations that are not considered in the assesments and could lead to a dangerous situation for both the person with epilepsy and those around them we need to get MPs to understand these issues and people need to nag their MP for support and to bring issues up in parliment until the assement is changed to consider the neurological conditions

Submitted by richard Hood on

I did not get ESA at all so from having received IB lost over £300 on this one and from DLA to PIP lost over £100.00 as I only receive care only standard per month while on DLA I used to get both parts. This party I do not trust and never have done. Corbyn's plans are good for the NHS but do not think he can stand up to run the country. Have completed the benefit survey on this email and aired my views. Assessors do not understand what Epilepsy is as on my ESA one I was asked to actually explain what Epilepsy was as she had never heard of it. I was totally gobsmacked and reported this to the DWP.
All the forms are 40 pages or more and very stressful for people like us and LD's Could these forms be made shorter and less duplication Lib Dems again good re NHS but feel the power is not there to deliver and The Toreis do not keep their promise and Jeremy Hunt is a total twit does not understand health at all.

Submitted by Valerie Egan on