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Funding secured for M.E. education module in Scotland

October 20, 2020

A collaboration of M.E. charities, led by Action for M.E., has been granted funding from the Scottish Government to support M.E. education for doctors in Scotland.

Last year, we surveyed 4,000 people with M.E., including more than 400 in Scotland. Of these, 31% waited one to three years for a diagnosis; 27% waited four years or more. One respondent told us:

“My GP is not very knowledgeable about M.E. and has no idea how to help me. I also find it difficult to access the GP surgery and the appointments are too short to discuss the things I need to.”

In order to address this, we are now working in partnership with M.E. Association, #MEAction Scotland, The 25% M.E. Group, Dr Nina Muirhead and the UK CFS/M.E. Research Collaborative’s Medical Education (CMRC Med Ed) Group, to disseminate and promote a free online learning module for professionals.

Focused on diagnosis and management of M.E., the module has been developed by Dr Muirhead, people with M.E., clinicians and researchers as part of the CMRC Med Ed Group.

Ruth Richardson, Operations Director, Action for M.E., says:

“By working in partnership to reach as many health professionals as we can, our aim is to reduce delays in diagnosis, cut costs of unnecessary referrals and investigations, and improve care and support for people with M.E. This includes highlighting the harm caused by inappropriate graded exercise therapy, which is also relevant for COVID-19 patients who develop post viral M.E./CFS.”

This work is part of the programme being funded for the Neurological care and support: framework for action 2020 to 2025, launched in December 2019.

With development beginning next month, work for this project will include a producing a podcast by Dr Muirhead that complements the learning module and invites health professionals to find out more. The module is accredited by Study PRN/Lerna in partnership with the University of South Wales, and we will seek to disseminate it through key learning centres in Scotland, including the Royal College of GPs Scotland, the Royal College of Nursing Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland.