During the week Lib Dem Voice ran a post criticising the government’s response regarding cancer patients to the Harrington review. Subsequently, Malcolm Harrington, author of the eponymous review, has in a letter to The Guardian given a different view from that given in both the post and the paper’s own coverage of the story.
Here is what he had to say:
This issue is an incredibly important and sensitive one for many people. Contrary to your article, I believe the government’s proposals would significantly improve on the current system and would be of considerable benefit to those who face the real personal challenge of a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
The government’s proposals have been developed as a result of evidence submitted to me by Macmillan and discussions with cancer specialists. The proposals would considerably increase the number of people who receive unconditional support in the benefits system. They would also reduce, not increase, the number of face-to-face assessments that individuals suffering from cancer would undergo.
The proposals are underpinned by a presumption that people undergoing cancer treatment will be entitled to the benefit if they have the necessary supporting evidence. They widen the scope of the people this applies to, while also allowing people who want to work to do so. This will mean better provision all round.
Delays in these proposals may ultimately affect individuals and their quality of life.