An inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Terminal Illness (APPGTI) has published its final report. Brain Tumour Research submitted evidence earlier this year and we are glad that the inquiry has recommended reforms to the present system. Currently, it is much harder for those who have a terminal condition, such as a brain tumour, to access financial benefits if their prognosis is longer than six months.
Instead of this arbitrary six-month time limit, Brain Tumour Research believes that the opinion of a patient’s medical team should be considered and we were delighted that the APPGTI has suggested this should be enacted.
Key recommendations from the report include:
- amending the definition of terminal illness in UK law so that a person is regarded as having a terminal illness if it is the clinical judgment of a registered medical practitioner or clinical nurse specialist that they have a progressive disease that can reasonably be expected to cause the individual’s death;
- ending the practice of non-specialist Department for Work & Pensions assessors challenging and rejecting the medical evidence provided by clinicians when terminally ill patients are claiming benefits.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Chair of the APPGTI, Drew Hendry MP, said that the report’s recommendations merely sought “compassion and dignity for all those with terminal illness, their families and all of those people who support them”.