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Response to recent Government e-petition reply

ImageFMA UK would like to publish a reply from a member of its Medical Advisory Board to the Government's most recent response to an e-petition relating fibromyalgia. The petition response can be viewed in full on our forum.

The Government recently posted a response to one of the Fibromyalgia e-petitions lodged on the 10 Downing Street website.  Dr Kim Lawson, Biomedical Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, a member of our Medical Advisory Board, has responded to this article.  In the aid of a speedy response, Dr Lawson has responded personally and as such this may not reflect the view of the Medical Advisory Board as a whole.

In Dr Lawson's response to 10 Downing Street, Dr Lawson said "I have read the Government response to the petition related to fibromyalgia and I have a number of concerns for which I would appreciate clarification."

In response to the following statement: "Fibromyalgia can be successfully managed within the primary care setting". Dr. Lawson has asked the following questions.  "How is success determined in this setting? If the condition can be managed, is there evidence of whether it is managed and what level of success is achieved?"

On the fifth paragraph, a statement was included to say "....a leaflet about fibromyalgia, which has now been made available to all GP surgeries...".   Dr Lawson has asked "As a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Fibromyalgia Association UK and co-author of this document, I know that it has not been available to a number of GP surgeries, including my local surgery. Can you please clarify what is meant by "...all GP surgeries..?""

On the training of clinicians in paragraph 9, Dr Lawson has asked "while there are, as correctly highlighted, constraints on the content of undergraduate courses, what CPD provision is available with an emphasis towards fibromyalgia rather than general pain management?"

While the Government's response says "There is now a Medical Advisory Board attached to the Fibromyalgia APPG, and one of its tasks will be to look into research on fibromyalgia.", Dr Lawson has asked "as a member of this Medical Advisory Board I am not aware of such a task or an intention of such a task. Can you provide further details of this situation, please."

In conclusion Dr. Lawson has said "I believe that the points that I have highlighted are somewhat misleading and may not represent the reality of awareness and management of fibromyalgia in the UK. I therefore look forward to your comments regarding the issues that I have raised."

We feel as an Association that it is encouraging for the Government's response to recognise the need to raise awareness among medical professionals as well as furthering research into treatment protocols for Fibromyalgia. However we must as an Association, in tandem with interested parties such as medical practitioners, strive to ensure that Government keeps to its obligations in helping to improve the lives of the estimated 2-5% of the population that suffers from FM in the UK.

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