Merseyside doctors queue up to learn more about M.E. | 10 May 2011

Story by Tony Britton

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals have been signing up to a training seminar aimed at debunking some of the myths surrounding the illness M.E., which will take place at the Liverpool Medical Institution on Wednesday, June 1.

It’s being organised by Liverpool ME Support Group, whose acting treasurer Dorothy O’Rourke says: “For years, ME – also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – has been a deeply misunderstood illness. We hope this seminar will help change local medical perceptions and help to turn Merseyside into one of the most of the most progressive areas in Britain for diagnosis and early treatment of the illness.”

Dozens of doctors, consultants and allied professionals have booked in for the seminar so far. It will be led by ME specialists Professor Malcolm Hooper from Sunderland University, Bishop Auckland GP Dr Irving Spurr and Joan Crawford, who is chair of Chester and Wirral ME Self-Help Group.

“They’ll be explaining just what the illness is and how important it is for patients to have sympathetic and knowledgeable GPs and if necessary access to fully-resourced multi-disciplinary health teams with an understanding of the depth and severity of the disorder and a willingness to engage in treatments and research.”

“ME is a real physical illness but a recent ME Association survey of 4,200 sufferers – the largest-ever survey of patient opinion – showed that 81% of people questioned didn’t think their doctors were well enough informed about it while only 15% felt they doctors were fully aware of the range of therapies available.

“For years, patients with ME have been hearing stories about how there is no provision in the curriculum for medical education in this illness and that there are no plans to change this”, added Mrs O’Rourke. “We very much hope that this seminar will be a step in the right direction and stimulate a lot of local interest in the subject.”

The seminar had been set up with the help of a £4,500 grant from Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services, which will also pay for additional work to be carried out at Liverpool Neurosupport Centre, details of which will be announced later.

Admission will be free and then event will open at 6.30pm when there will be a hot buffet, The lectures will begin at 7.20pm. Car parking spaces in the Metropolitan Cathedral car park opposite the venue are available on request when registering.

To register, phone Mrs O’Rourke on 0151 722 2471, or email: liverpool_me2@yahoo.co.uk

ENDS

Notes for Newsdesks:

For more information, please phone Dorothy O’Rourke on 0151 722 2471 or Joan Crawford, chair of Cheshire and Wirral ME Self-Help Group, on 01244 370988.

The ME Association’s 2010 survey ‘Managing my M.E.: what people with ME/CFS and their carers want from the UK’s health and social services’, 32 pages, can be accessed here: https://meassociation.org.uk/?page_id=1345

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