Scotland has more pandas than ME nurses

Web 2000 women at home with carer nurse

A charity has called for an increase in specialist support ahead of ME Awareness Day

9th May 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scotland's only specialist ME nurse says many GPs still don't know what the condition is and the NHS should invest more in it.

Keith Anderson pointed out to MSPs that Scotland has more pandas than ME nurses at an event to raise awareness of the crippling condition at Holyrood this week. 

Action for ME organised the event and is calling for more support for the around 20,000 Scots who have myalgic encephalomyelitis, which is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

The event was hosted by Gail Ross MSP in the build up to ME Awareness Day on Saturday 12 May.

"There are more pandas in Scotland than ME nurses,” said Anderson, who works in Fife.

"If there were more ME specialist nurses in the NHS, we would not only be able to help improve the lives of those affected by the illness, but also educate those across all health care professions about a condition that affects more than 20,000 people in Scotland.

"It's scary to find out that many GPs and other doctors don't know what ME is, let alone how to manage it."

Theresa Burns, Action for ME project coordinator for Scotland, said: "We have already been working with the Scottish Government to improve access to the right information about ME for some health professionals, as part of our Inform ME Scotland project.

"Now we want to build on this, by exploring how we might develop more detailed training on ME for health and social care professionals.

"We also want to increase the number of ME specialists in Scotland, and see the appointment of a clinical lead in this area."

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said that an extra £2.5 million a year is being invested in providing specialist nurses.