M.E. is a serious, long-term, fluctuating condition affecting 250,000 people in the UK and 17 million worldwide.
Some guidelines do exist for UK healthcare professionals regarding diagnosing and managing M.E. However, professionals and people with M.E. alike tell us they would like more information and support around the health and social care available.
Action for M.E.’s 2015 survey of 850 people with M.E. found a considerable gulf between the support needs of people with M.E. and social care provision, while Aviva’s 2013 Health of the Nation Index survey found that 25% of GPs noted an increase in M.E. patient numbers over the past year, while 39% found M.E. to be the most challenging condition for referral.
By offering evidence-based information and support via our website, webinars (see below) and printed resources, we hope to improve patient care for all those affected by M.E. in the UK.
Webinars and professional briefings
Action for M.E.'s webinar series offers expert information and support for primary healthcare professionals on M.E. including diagnosis, symptom-management, co-morbidities and supporting effective self-management.
- M.E./CFS management principles for health professionals, presented by Fiona Wright, specialist M.E./CFS clinician and Occupational Therapist (OT) with North Bristol NHS Trust, this webinar will be most useful for OTs and Physiotherapists, but is suitable for all primary healthcare professionals. It was held on Tuesday 16 January and can be watched on the Webinars for GPs website.
- Energy efficiency nursing: managing the effects of M.E./CFS, presented by Keith Anderson, M.E./CFS Clinical Nurse Specialist with NHS Lothian, who demonstrated how he has applied his nursing and clinical management skills to treat and support patients. This webinar will be most useful to nurses working within primary care, but also of interest to GPs and other health professionals. It was held on Tuesday 30 January and can be watched on the Webinars for GPs website.
- Meeting the needs of people with M.E./CFS: essential facts and practical tips was presented by pharmacist and Action for M.E. volunteer Emily Beardall, who also has M.E., in November 2017, and is suitable for anyone working in primary health and social care. A recording of the webinar, and its accompanying slides, are now available to view online. One GP who took part said it was an "excellent webinar debunking M.E. myths and providing practical advice on early management and signposting to support groups."
- Our webinar in May 2017 focused on M.E., postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and autonomic dysfunction, led by our medical advisor Prof Julia Newton, Clinical Professor of Ageing and Medicine, University of Newcastle; and Dr Lesley Kavi, a GP with a special interest in POTS.
Our three most recent webinars were part of our Inform M.E. Scotland, which was funded by the Scottish Government and ran to the end of May 2018. This project also saw us produce two professional briefings: one for primary care professionals, and one for occupational therapists.