Campaign For Fairer Medical Assessments & Understanding of Lupus Sufferers and Associated Connective Tissue Disorder
This petition is to increase government awareness of the complexity of this debilitating disease. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is hard to say and much harder to live with. It affects lives, ruins relationships and can stop people working. At a time when the government's mission is to get as many people off sickness benefits and back into work, as a means of easing the deficit, the Lupus community need to raise the profile of this disease: One which is bewildering, unpredicatble and debilitating. We need our voice to be heard... We need DWP Doctors to understand that the current medical assessments are by no means fair when assessing a Lupus sufferer. Most of us have suffered for many years; we have more hospital appointments in one year than most people have in a lifetime. We never know from one day to the next how we will feel, we can't predict or even plan. We need the government directive for medical DWP assesments to include that all claimants with a diagnosis of SLE or associated connective tissue disorder should complete a relevent questionnaire focusing on how the disease affects us. Rather than have a DWP Doctor carry out a 'one for all test' and based on his/her findings on the day declare us fit or unfit for work. Our own physcians involved in our care should be allowed to provide supportive evidence. We should be exempt from having to prove to a DWP Doctor (who doesn't know us!) that we are 'sick' Our supportive medical evidence should be all that is required, thus preventing the additional stress this situation is causing and in turn can exacerbate symptoms. Lupus is a difficult disease to diagnose. On average it takes six years from onset of symptoms to diagnosis; however, in some cases it can take much longer. It is therefore unfair that someone, who has no knowledge of how the disease affects us day to day; or does not know how much our lives are compromised, can be responsible for determining our future.
If you are a Lupus sufferer or can support someone who is, please sign your name to the petition below. We need to fight back, we need to stand up and have our voice heard and in doing so free ourselves from a future fuelled with fear.