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What the Queen’s Speech means for the MS community

Yesterday, the UK Government published its Queen’s Speech, outlining the new laws it plans to introduce.

Most of the policies in the speech had already been set out in the Conservative Party's election manifesto. But some new details were also announced.

Getting Brexit done

Top of the agenda was Brexit, with the Government bringing forward legislation to make sure the UK leaves the European Union on 31 January. A fast-track NHS scheme will be introduced to make sure qualified European doctors, nurses and health professionals have fast tracked entry into the UK.

Read more about how Brexit may affect people with MS

Social care – more talks, no action

There was nothing new on social care, with the Government again committing to start cross-party talks in the new year to fix the social care crisis. But the UK Government did confirm it would speed up plans to introduce an entitlement of one week's leave for unpaid carers.

A National Strategy for Disabled People

The Government will publish a National Strategy for Disabled People in 2020. We've been calling for people with MS to be assessed less frequently so we welcome the commitment that people won't be assessed for at least 18 months from their last review.  

However, a lot more needs to be done to fix the system. Next month we’ll be delivering a letter signed by over 21,000 people to the Prime Minister calling on changes to the entire PIP assessment process.

NHS spending and access to medicines

Elsewhere, a new funding bill will make sure NHS spending is increased across the UK. And free hospital car parking will be made available to those “in greatest need”.

Parliament will also pass laws to get patients faster access to medicines by speeding up the lowest risk clinical trials and encouraging the introduction of new medicines. And they'll take steps to to increase the range of professionals able to prescribe medicines.

Our External Relations Manager Jonathan Blades said: “We’re pleased to see the Conservatives will be investing vital funds in the NHS. But it’s been years since we were first promised a plan on how to fix our failing social care system, and we’re still in the dark.

“MS is relentless, painful and disabling, and people need this support urgently. Unnecessary cross-party talks just prolong the problem. The Government has been given clear solutions, and finally has the power to get legislation passed through parliament, so why are we still waiting for a system that works?”

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