Ewan Dale, Trustee, ME Association
In August, the Scottish Government announced grant funding for projects that aimed to advance the Neurological Care and Support Framework for Action (2020-25), with a short deadline for bids.
Funding has been won by a collaboration of ME/CFS charities for a project that aims to improve medical education and medical awareness of the condition in Scotland.
The bid was submitted by Action for M.E. and the project is supported by The ME Association, #MEActionScotland, The 25% ME Group, and Dr Nina Muirhead who leads The CMRC (CFS/ME Research Collaborative) Medical Education Group (CMRC MEG).
Additional support has come from The Oxygen Works, Inverness, and Scottish Huntington's Association.
The Scottish Medical Education Project
The project is based on the current StudyPRN ME/CFS Online Continuing Professional Development module developed by Dr Nina Muirhead and members of the CMRC MEG.
The team will consider potential adaptations of the module for different situations, plus improvements and the development of further CPD provisions to be promoted across medical education and practice development. It will be part of continuing developments pursued in the rest of the UK involving Dr Muirhead and the CMRC MEG.
In November, the project lead will be engaging with as many of the range of educational, professional, and service provision bodies as possible, looking at how the current CPD module is received and how it can be enhanced to improve its effects across different situations.
As an additional tool, Dr Muirhead will produce a podcast supplementing the module and inviting health professionals to engage more openly about the issues surrounding the diagnosis and management of ME/CFS.
The central aims of the project in Scotland are:
- improving the quality and speed of diagnosis, including selection and interpretation of tests and referrals,
- improving symptom treatment and overall management,
- improving recognition of need and support in qualifying for care and benefits provisions,
- redressing inappropriate and unsafe practice and policy for activity management.
In the current circumstances, advancing understanding of the cross-over between experiences of people with Post/Long-Covid and with ME/CFS or Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) diagnosis and management is an additional part of the project, with its own dynamics for rapid improvement in recognition and practice.
The ME Association
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