An Eastbourne man has launched a government petition calling to improve medical assessments for those who need sickness support.
Mark Oldaker, who suffers from a number of ailments including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, has already received more than 3,000 peoples’ support but he needs 10,000 signatures to get a response from the government.
After being denied Personal Independence Payments (PIP), he is calling to get medical assessments conducted by consultants and GPs who ‘understand’ patients’ conditions – particularly for those who suffer conditions like his.
Mr Oldaker, of Mortain Road, Westham, believes this will give ‘more accurate’ information about peoples’ disabilities to support their claims for disability benefits PIP, DLA, and ESA.
The 42-year-old said, “I suffer from ulcerative colitis, ADHD, OCD, anxiety and depression and Cluster 4 which means I can’t deal with day to day life.
“I’m on a drug called Infliximab Infusion which is for my IBD and have to have it every six-eight weeks in hospital in the Infusion Unit.
“This suppresses my immune system, which means I am prone to infections. I have been rejected twice by PIP saying my IBD and Mental Health Issues don’t affect me in my day to day life; I am now waiting for a tribunal.”
Mr Oldaker says he has received letters of support from his football team Stoke City and is in talks to be filmed in a documentary.
He has also been invited to the Cancer Research Centre in London on February 20 to take part in survey into how IBD sufferers’ lives are affected by the condition.
When contacted for a comment, a spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said, “Decisions for PIP are made after careful consideration of all the evidence provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.
“The health professionals carrying out PIP assessments must have at least 2 years’ experience as a fully registered occupational therapist, level 1 nurse, physiotherapist, paramedic or doctor.”
To view the petition click here