SNP ministers accused of turning their backs on Scots suffering from ME

SNP ministers have been accused of turning their backs on thousands of Scots suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

Scottish Labour said the condition is twice as prevalent as multiple sclerosis and can prevent people from working and living independently.

However, just one health board in ScotlandNHS Fife – has any dedicated ME services. This means that across Scotland, just £67,405 is currently being spent on dedicated provision, Labour said.

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The party’s health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “The facts are plain for all to see – despite thousands of Scots living with ME there is next to no dedicated services to help treat patients. This SNP Government has turned its back on Scots with ME.

Scottish Labour's Jackie BaillieScottish Labour's Jackie Baillie
Scottish Labour's Jackie Baillie

“This is an incredibly serious condition with a knock-on effect on our economy, workforce and NHS. Just like long Covid patients, ME patients are being abandoned by an SNP Government that doesn’t want to know. This must end and end now.”

SNP public health minister Maree Todd said: “This suggestion is not true – we are very well aware of the challenges faced by ME patients and are determined to ensure they have as much help and support as possible.

“ME/CFS [chronic fatigue syndrome] can present a broad range of symptoms, and we know there’s no ‘one size fits all’ response. We want to support people with ME/CFS to access care and support in a setting that is appropriate and as close to their home as practicable.

“We’ve strengthened the workforce recruiting more than 3,220 professionals, including community nurses and physios, with increased funding of £170 million in 2022/23 to support further development of these multi-disciplinary teams to improve care. We are also investing in existing ME/CFS services.

“All NHS Scotland boards are providing assessment and support for people with long Covid, delivered across the full range of NHS services, with an initial £3 million from our long Covid support fund made available to support this work.”



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