Political Correspondent

WORK capability assessments need to be completely overhauled to ensure fairness and dignity a Glasgow MP has said.

David Linden, Glasgow East SNP MP led a debate in the House of Commons and told ministers of cases in the east end of people badly affected by assessor’s decisions.

Mr Linden said people with serious health conditions are being declared fit to work and said it is a regular common complaint at his surgeries.

He told of one constituent, David from Baillieston.

He said David suffers from hidradenitis suppurativa and has had numerous abscesses over the years that requires extensive surgery and skin grafts.

He said he often needs morphine administered six times a day.

Mr Linden said the man’s GP stated quite clearly that he should not be working, yet he was found fit for work at a Work Capability Assessment.

The decision was eventually overturned after the MP’s office intervened

He told of another case involving one of one of his staff who has a son with autism who had to go through a WCA

Mr Linden said: “Michelle Ferns, a member of my own constituency casework team, has a profoundly autistic son, Richard, who is non-verbal.

“During the assessment, Michelle was asked by the professional if Richard ‘still had autism’.

That’s quite how ridiculous this system is.”

He mentioned another case of a woman with muscular dystrophy.

He said: “

MPs across the UK spoke in the debate and most had cases of people who doctors said were unfit to work but assessors declared they were.

Mr Linden said: “We need a full, root and branch review of the Work Capability Assessment process and I want to see an assessment that is underpinned with professionalism, knowledge, dignity and – above all, respect.

“We need action now, not words from the Tories.

“As it stands, the current system is failing the most vulnerable in our society and all too often plunges people into chaos, depression and in some cases to the brink of suicide.”

Sarah Newton, Work and Pensions Minister, said that she recognised the concerns and was setting up meetings for MPs and staff.

She said she wanted a tailor made service that treated people with dignity and respect.

Ms Newton said: “It’s right that we focus on what people can do, not what they can’t do and making sure people can reach their full potential. We know work is good for health.”