Ewan Dale, Scottish Trustee, ME Association.
The Scottish Parliament is about to celebrate its first 20 years. For most of that time, M.E. patients have been explaining their need for adequate medical services to MSPs and desperately hoping that medical care and support in Scotland can be improved.
There has been some progress. Following the original petition and the Petition Committees' tenacity in keeping it before them for years until something was actually done, in 2010 the Scottish Public Health Network produced its Healthcare Needs Assessment of Services for people with ME/CFS, which was followed by the Scottish Good Practice Statement -despite attempts to block it.
While not ideal, these publications were potentially very helpful. But there has been little progress in enacting the Needs Assessment Recommendations, and little adoption of Good Practice by doctors.
Where the agencies administering healthcare should have supported implementation, they instead chose to fund projects promoting therapeutic approaches for patients well enough to participate.
Now, with Petition PE01690 before the Scottish Government, asking for much the same things as the first, we are seeing the health agencies seeking to take time to reassess essentially the same information, instead of just taking steps to actually provide useful service development through proper medical education, and recording and dissemination of good practice.
The way forward is still the same as it was 20 years ago. It just needs doing.
The ME Association
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