Questions to Ask Prospective MPs About ME/CFS

In the next few weeks, candidates will be knocking on doors seeking votes for the upcoming UK Election. It’s important that candidates from all parties are made aware of the challenges facing people with ME and Long Covid. It can be a little daunting to be unprepared so here are some questions you might want to ask:

By asking these questions, you can help ensure that prospective MPs are aware of the importance of addressing ME/CFS and are committed to making positive changes for those affected by this debilitating condition.Let us know of any interesting responses!

Click here to print these questions for ease of access.

Context: In the UK, there are an estimated 700,000 to 1.2 million people with ME, including a large number with Long Covid. That is at least 1 out of every 100 people, many of whom are severe and effectively missing from society. The condition has been overlooked and underfunded by successive governments, and this needs to end.

  1. Ensuring Adherence to NICE Guidelines: NICE published a new Guideline on ME/CFS almost three years ago, yet many in the NHS still do not follow this new guidance based on a robust review of the evidence. What would you do to help ensure healthcare providers and the NHS are properly trained and follow best practices for those with ME/CFS?
  2. Department of Health & Social Care Delivery Plan: In a Westminster Hall debate in May this year, it was reported that the delayed Department of Health & Social Care Delivery Plan on ME/CFS would “likely be available in the Autumn, hopefully before the General Election.” Obviously that didn’t happen, so how would you support the prioritisation of getting this published, as each day that passes adds to the suffering of those needing better services?
  3. Improving Local Healthcare Services: What will you do to help local constituents with (severe) ME/CFS access better healthcare? Given the challenges in accessing proper care for ME/CFS, how will you work to improve local healthcare services and ensure that constituents receive the support they need?
  4. Increasing Biomedical Research Funding: Biomedical research has been chronically underfunded for ME/CFS, receiving less than £5 per patient per year, while multiple sclerosis receives over £82 per patient annually. Would you support increasing this funding, and what measures will you take to ensure that the government follows through on promises and commitments related to ME/CFS research, funding, and support?
  5. Addressing barriers to accessing healthcare: Trying to get a Doctors appointment requires calling for an appointment at 8am on the day, or investigations such as blood tests require an in person visit to a surgery- both activities can be very difficult for many patients with ME. What measures would you propose for to help your constituents in these situations?
  6. Clarity on benefits support: With the government’s current stance on pushing people back into work, how will you support those unable to work due to this under-researched condition? What steps will you take to ensure that people with ME have sufficient financial support to live on?

By asking one or more of these questions, you can help ensure that prospective MPs are aware of the importance of addressing ME/CFS and are committed to making positive changes for those affected by this debilitating condition. Let us know of any interesting responses!

Click here to print these questions for ease of access.
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