Margaret Curran (Labour MP for Glasgow West) tabled a written question which asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the agency contracted to provide medical examinations as part of the Work Capability Assessment has been issued with specific guidance on the assessment of persons presenting a diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome.
It was answered on 13 October 2010 by Chris Grayling, Minister of State for Employment, who replied:
All health care professionals working for Atos Healthcare are required to read an evidence-based protocol on chronic fatigue syndrome as part of their induction training. This was last updated in January 2010. In addition, all health care professionals are required to engage in a programme of continuing medical education which includes two modules on chronic fatigue syndrome. These were last updated in April 2009 and March 2010 respectively.
If you would like to read the ME Association's submission to Professor Michael Harrington's independent inquiry on the Work Capability Assessment, please click HERE.
We characterised the WCA – part of the process of applying for the Employment and Support Allowance – as abusive towards the real needs of people with ME/CFS and, because it was such an inaccurate way of measuring the capability of people with this illness, as an inefficient use of taxpayers' money.