What could the new Conservative Government mean for people with MS?

It seems like yesterday the surprise general election was called. The six weeks of campaigning have been a blur and I’ve followed along with interest every step of the way. And last night I couldn’t help but stay up to watch the votes pour in.

While we’re not yet certain who will be living at Number 10, the Conservatives are still set to form the Government. But what could a new Conservative Government mean for people with MS?

No radical changes to welfare benefits? 

Many of you told us welfare was your key issue for this election. The Conservative manifesto said they wouldn’t carry out any ‘further radical welfare reform’. But it’s unclear what they mean by that.

We hope it means there will be no further cuts to disability benefits. And we’ll be clarifying this with Government.

While ‘no radical reform’ is welcome, we still need small common sense changes to the welfare system. In particular, disability benefits assessments must change to reflect the reality of living with MS. And ensure people can access the vital support they need.

One million disabled people into work

The Government wants to get one million more disabled people into work over the next 10 years.

We hope this Government will make sure people with MS get the support they need to stay in work as long as they want to. And just as importantly, when they can no longer work.

Changes to how care is paid for

Too many people with MS and their carers can’t access the care and support they need, when they need it.

The Conservatives have pledged to make important changes to the way social care for older people is funded in England. We are concerned these proposals won’t deliver the change we desperately need.

The Government must tell us what it's going to do to fund and improve care for disabled people of working age.

We need to be sure that no one with MS faces unreasonable care costs. Our priority is to make sure the Government develops a solution that works for people with MS.

A healthy NHS needs more investment

We know it’s vitally important that people with MS can access the right treatment at the right time. This includes regular reviews of treatment and care.

The Conservative party has pledged to increase spending on the NHS by £8bn over the next five years. However, experts say this is still unlikely to be enough.

The NHS in England must be properly resourced, so people get the treatment, care and support they need.

Brexit means Brexit. But what does that mean?

One word that wasn’t far from anyone’s lips this election was Brexit, and what will happen when the UK leaves the EU. This issue presents a number of worries for our community.

Despite the Conservatives talking about Brexit a lot in their manifesto, it’s still not clear how it will impact disabled people.

Any future relationship with the EU must allow UK research to flourish, ensure we can access the treatments we need and uphold disability rights.

Working across all nations in the UK

Despite questions about who will be leading the UK Government in Westminster, many important issues are devolved, such as health and social care.

We will continue to work with politicians in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the issues that matter to people living with MS.

We’ll keep campaigning to protect disability benefits

Before the election, over 16,500 of you signed a letter to party leaders asking them for no further cuts to disability benefits. Together we can build on that support, to make sure the Government promises to protect disability benefits.

We are more effective as a united community.

Please join us and add your voice to stand up for people with MS at Westminster.

>> Join our campaigns community.

Michelle Mitchell is our Chief Executive, follow her on Twitter @mmitchms

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