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Scottish Liberal Democrats adopt new policy on M.E.

September 10, 2018

The Scottish Liberal Democrats voted to support a motion on M.E. at their party conference on Saturday, calling for a number of actions, including the removal of graded exercise therapy (GET) from the Scottish Good Practice Statement (SGPS).

Theresa Burns, Action for M.E.’s Scotland Project Coordinator, attended the conference, along with four Action for M.E. volunteers. Hosting an information stand, Theresa and our volunteers met with a number of MSPs, including Alex Hamilton-Cole, the debate’s summator, and party leader, Willie Rennie.

Supporting the motion means that it is now official Scottish Liberal Democrat policy, and that their MSPs will support moves in the Scottish Parliament to enact it. Moved by party member Emma Walker, it sets out the following:

  • NHS Scotland to remove GET treatment from the SGPS, and for its abolition as a treatment for M.E. from all healthcare services across Scotland (the motion originally included the removal of cognitive behavioural therapy, but an amendment to retain it was passed by one vote; an amendment to include pacing as a recommended treatment failed).
  • The Scottish Chief Scientist Office to commit to a biomedical research programme which has an investment directly in proportion to the burden of disease (once the burden of disease for Scotland has been established).
  • The Scottish Government to invest in a centre of excellence (focusing on research and care), along with established clinical networks across Scotland.
  • The Scottish Government to review NHS Education Scotland’s approach to training and educational material, before committing to a programme of GP training and education in M.E. across the country.

Theresa says: “We are hugely grateful to our volunteers for taking the time and energy to attend on Saturday and share their experiences of living with M.E. with conference delegates. It is fantastic to see the Scottish Liberal Democrats making a clear commitment to improving the lives of the 20,000 men, women and children with M.E. in Scotland.”

Action for M.E. is currently working with the Scottish Chief Scientist Office to jointly fund a PhD in biomedical research at the University of Edinburgh, as well as leading a number of ongoing projects to raise awareness and understanding of M.E. in Scotland. Find out more.