16 May 2011
A summary of recent M.E. related stories in the news. Headlines appearing in the media as dated.
New report condemns disabled benefits reform
A new report from Citizens Advice Scotland, condemning disabled benefits reform, has been lodged with the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee. The report shows the system of welfare reform is leading to a huge bottleneck of appeals and a delay in cases reaching tribunal of around six to nine months. Citizens Advice Scotland says around 70% of its time is spent dealing with claims and appeals for Employment and Support Allowance claims. Kirsty Rankin, who has M.E., is caught in an ongoing cycle of being assessed as fit for work, successfully appealing, and then being assessed fit again.
Herald Scotland, online
Very ill people may be found fit for work
People with M.E. are worried about having their benefits reassessed as part of the Government’s welfare reforms. Martin Arber, who has M.E. for nearly 30 years, says the nature of the illness means it can be hard to assess, and that people who are very ill will nevertheless be found fit for work.
Ilford Recorder, p 18
Hostility towards disabled people on the rise, says survey
A survey commissioned by Scope says that disabled people have faced greater public hostility discrimination and even physical attacks from strangers since the Government launched its benefits reforms. In the survey, 37% of people with disabilities claimed they were increasingly being abused in the streets, wrongly reported to the benefits fraud hotline and accosted when trying to use disabled parking spaces.
M.E. makes me feel left out
Ross Rauch, 12, Hannah Mills, 14 and Louie Anderson, 9, who live in South Cerney and all have M.E., talk about their illness. Louie says he feels left out because he is so different from all of his friends, and Ross is unable to attend school full-time. Hannah’s mum says it’s heart-breaking to watch her daughter suffer.
Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard, p 4
Anger over CFS service closure
People with M.E. in Redbridge and Sir Peter Spencer, Action for ME, voice their concerns over the closure of the CFS service at Queen’s Hospital. Minutes of a Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospital Trust meeting say the unit will be decommissioned, but a trust spokesman denies a decision has already been made.
Ilford Recorder, online
Why do some doctors still not believe in M.E.?
Richard Senior, Glastonbury, says he has been prompted to write a letter following Sir Peter Spencer's letter in the paper about M.E. Awareness Month. Richard says that since his wife Annabel died eight years ago, when the coroner's report stated CFS/M.E. as cause of death, there have been further deaths from the illness, the most recent being Lynn Gilderdale. Mr Senior asks why some GPs and the NHS are still not sympathetic to patients with M.E., and wants doctors who believe that M.E. is a physical illness to stand up and be counted.
This is Somerset, p 30
Open garden day for Action for M.E.
Bernard and Marian Ransome, whose daughter Sandra has had M.E. for 20 years, will open their garden to the public on Sunday 5 June, 2pm to 6pm, as part of this year's National Gardens Scheme. They will raise funds and awareness for Action for M.E. Entry is £3 per adult and children are free.
New Market Journal, online
No evidence of XMRV
A team led by Dr Ila Singh, University of Utah, examined the blood of 100 patients and 200 healthy people but found no evidence of XMRV. The team also found no evidence of the retrovirus in the blood of 14 CFS patients identified as XMRV-positive in an earlier study undertaken by the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Nevada.
Health Today, online
Yahoo! News, online
Living with M.E.
Barbara Kell and Pauline Donaldson, who are housebound with M.E., tell their stories to mark M.E. Awareness Week. Both are members of Sunderland and South Tyneside M.E./CFS Support Group, which can be contacted on 0191 455 6959.
The Shields Gazette, online
Protest over loss of parking spaces
Jeanne Rushby, who has M.E., is leading a petition protesting at the loss of parking spaces in the planned refurbishment of Salibsury’s Market Place and Guildhall Square. She says the changes will make it harder for people with limited mobility to have access to shops and essential services.
Salisbury Journal, p 4
M.E. course to stop
Sarah Baldock and Helen Laurence, who both have M.E., say that a symptom-management course, organised by a physiotherapist based at York’s Bootham Park Hospital, helped them cope better with the illness. Both are angry that the course has been stopped.
York Press, online
Devastated by M.E.
Former fitness instructor and personal trainer Susan Mulkeen, who is a member of the M.E. Association of Bury and Bolton, explains how she has been affected by M.E.
Rochdale Observer, p 11
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