15 May 2009
Two healthcare initiatives for people with M.E. were press launched in the Scottish Parliament yesterday, 14 May 2009.
The first was a Scottish Good Practice Statement for GPs on the diagnosis and management of ME-CFS and the other, a national consultation on a Needs Assessment of healthcare services for people living with the illness.
Both initiatives are supported by the Scottish Government Health Directorates.
The Good Practice Statement for GPs has been produced by Dr Purdie, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, with administrative support from Action for M.E.
The needs assessment has been undertaken by the Scottish Public Health Network, which commissioned Action for M.E. to organise focus groups to help inform its thinking in the early stages.
The launch was hosted by Andy Kerr MSP, Convenor of the Cross Party Group on M.E. and attended by the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alex Fergusson MSP, together with Kenny MacAskill MSP, Elaine Murray MSP and Robin Harper MSP, representatives from NHS 24, Health Boards, Action for M.E., the ME Association, local M.E. support groups, people with M.E. and their carers.
Andy Kerr MSP welcomed the launch of both documents and thanked everyone who contributed, before welcoming the speakers: Will Scott, Head of the Long Term Conditions arm of the Scottish Government Health Directorates, Dr Purdie, as lead author on the Good Practice Statement and Phil Mackie, Scottish Public Health Network (ScotPHN), as lead author on the Needs Assessment.
The Good Practice Statement has benefited from substantial input from people with M.E. The proof copy produced for the launch will now be finalised for distribution to GPs and other healthcare professionals and it will shortly be made available online and in hard copy to people with M.E. and others.
The guide will also be the subject of a one-day training conference for GPs and other medical professionals and academics on Wednesday 9 September.
The report of the ScotPHN Needs Assessment is now available for comment as part of a national consultation taking place 14 May–1 September.
In a press release issued before the launch, Public Health Minister Shona Robison said:
“Both the Good Practice Statement for GPs and the needs assessment consultation are very important pieces of work. I welcome the contribution they will make to the care of people with ME and CFS here in Scotland – both conditions that are debilitating and distressing for those who live with them day by day.
“A great deal of work has been undertaken by many people to produce these, and both show great sensitivity towards the needs of people with M.E. Together, these two initiatives will help professionals support and manage M.E. and CFS and ultimately improve care.”