This week I attended the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association’s parliamentary reception to show my support for people with MND, their families and carers.
People with MND, their carers, families and volunteers from the MND Association were at the reception to take questions from MPs about the impact of living with MND and the difference good care and support can make to the lives of those with the condition and their families. They were also talking to MPs about the value of Attendance Allowance (a disability benefit for over 65s) to people with MND, and their concerns about Government proposals to reform the benefit.
MND affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time. Six people are diagnosed every day and sadly six people die each and every day from MND.
MND attacks the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work. It does not usual affect the senses such as sight, sound, feeling etc. Around 35% of people with MND experience mild cognitive change causing difficulties with planning, decision-making and language. A further 15% of people show signs of a form of dementia resulting in more pronounced behavioural changes. 1 in 300 people are at risk of developing MND during their lifetime.
Statistics show that in Flintshire up to 508 people in Flintshire are diagnosed with motor neurone disease. That is why it was important for me to attend the Motor Neurone Disease Associations reception in parliament.
We need to ensure that social security and health policy nationally is focused in helping people with MND. The proposals being put forward by the Government, in regards to Attendance Allowance are deeply concerning and Labour will be watching closely to ensure that they do not harm some of the most vulnerable in society.
I was invited to this event by a number of constituents and was delighted to represent them at the MND Association event. It is important that the link between Parliament and charities is maintained and strengthened. It ensures public policy is improved and voices are heard.