Ask your MSPs to stand up for people with ME

Sue Webber MSP’s motion about ME will be debated in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 2nd February – and your MSPs should be there! The motion calls on the Scottish Parliament to recognise the outcomes and recommendations of the stakeholder report on ME, including education of healthcare professionals and development of specialist services. We’re pleased that 59 MSPs have given their support to the motion, and you can see if your MSP supported it on the Scottish Parliament website.

The debate will take place from 12:45-1:30pm (straight after First Minister’s Questions) which is promising as it means MSPs are more likely to stay in the Chamber. Members of the public are welcome to watch the debate from the public gallery. This is free, accessible, does not need to be booked in advance and you are free to come and go as necessary during the debate. You’ll also be able to watch along live online through Scottish Parliament TV. We’ll share more information on social media nearer the time.

The debate will provide an opportunity for MSPs to show their support for people with ME, share the stories of constituents living with ME, and call on the Scottish Government to introduce the much needed and long overdue changes for people with ME.

 

What can you do?
Volunteers from #MEAction Scotland have worked alongside Sue Webber for many months, shaping the wording and focus of the motion, but we need the voices of as many people with ME as possible to show the reality of this terrible condition. By contacting your MSPs and telling them about your experiences of ME, we can make sure the debate is as meaningful and representative as possible. 

MSPs have a duty to support and represent their constituents. An email from you is the best way to get them to understand the realities of living with ME and persuade them to stand up and support the ME community. The more people that get in touch, the better! 

Who are your MSPs? 
If you’re not sure who your MSPs are you can put your postcode into the They Work For You website to find out. 

You will have eight MSPs who represent you – one constituency MSP and seven regional MSPs (don’t worry about your MP as it’s a Scottish Parliament debate). It would be great if you could email as many of these MSPs as you can.

Below are some key points to include in the email and a template email that you can copy and paste if you prefer. Please add your experience of ME if you feel able to, it helps personalise the email and will have more of an impact on your MSP. 

If you get a response from your MSP it would be great if you could let us know. It’s really helpful for us to be aware of who has been contacted and told they have a constituent with ME. Thank you! 

Key points for your email 
These key points are suggestions to help you write your own email. There is a template email below if it is easier for you to copy and paste the text. 

It is useful if you know whether or not the MSP you’re emailing signed the motion so you can mention it and either thank them or make the point that they didn’t sign. You can see which  MSPs signed on the Scottish Parliament website.

  • Thank you for signing/I was sorry to see that you didn’t sign Sue Webber MSP’s motion S6M-061.
  • I ask you to please represent me by joining the debate and sharing my story. This is an opportunity for MSPs to stand alongside people with ME and call on the Scottish Government to implement the recommendations of the stakeholder report they commissioned earlier this year.
  • Describe your personal story/connection with ME:
    • It’s useful to include, if you share your story, how ME affects your life, and the life of the people who care for you/you care for. It’s helpful to mention if you have had any support or advice from the NHS and whether this has been useful, or the lack of support and advice you’ve had. If you’ve been advised to take part in any activity that is not recommended in the new NICE guideline, such as GET, it’s good to mention that too. 

Note: Remember to include your full name and address in the email. Including your address is how your MSP knows that you are in their constituency and lots of them won’t read emails without it. 

Template email 
Feel free to copy and paste this template email and add your personal story. 

It is useful if you know whether or not the MSP you’re emailing signed the motion so you can mention it and either thank them or make the point that they didn’t sign. You can see which MSPs signed on the Scottish Parliament website.

Dear [MSP name],

[Thank you for signing/I was sorry to see that you didn’t sign] Sue Webber MSP’s motion S6M-061.

More than 21,000 people in Scotland live with ME and, sadly, this number is only set to grow as people with Long Covid are now being diagnosed with ME. There are currently no ME specialist consultants in Scotland and only one specialist nurse. 

As your constituent, I am now emailing to ask you to please represent me by joining the debate and sharing my story. This is an opportunity for MSPs to stand alongside people with ME and call on the Scottish Government to implement the recommendations of the stakeholder report they commissioned earlier this year.

[ADD YOUR PERSONAL STORY/CONNECTION WITH ME HERE

  • It’s useful to include, if you share your story, how ME affects your life, and the life of the people who care for you/you care for. It’s helpful to mention if you have had any support or advice from the NHS and whether this has been useful, or the lack of support and advice you’ve had. If you’ve been advised to take part in any activity that is not recommended in the new NICE guideline, such as GET, it’s good to mention that too.]

I look forward to your response. 

[Add your full name and address]

You can also download a Word document version of the letter by clicking on the button below.

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