In a written question, the Countess of Mar asked the Government whether the DWP medical practitioners’ and Atos Healthcare medical assessor’ training programmes for classified neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease are identical to those for ME/CFS, which is also classified as a neurological disease by the World Health Organisation ICD10 G93.3.
In his reply on 9 May 2011, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Welfare Reform Lord Freud wrote:
The training material for Atos Healthcare professionals on neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis is not identical to that for chronic fatigue syndrome. This is because the clinical features of these conditions are different, irrespective of how they are classified.
Assessment of entitlement to benefit does not depend on the condition itself, the underlying cause or how they are classified, but on the disabling effects of the condition(s) present.