Bradshaw says fibromyalgia recognition just beginning of journey

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the recognition of fibromyalgia as a long-term condition in Northern Ireland, but cautioned without reform services will not catch up as quickly as they should.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the Patient and Client Council announced new ‘pathways’ for sufferers, which will outline what services are available for them, including medication or advice around exercise and alternative therapies.

“I am relieved, as many will be, fibromyalgia is now rightly recognised as a long-term condition. This means services can now be put in place across Trusts for those suffering with it.

“However, there is already a postcode lottery for services for many long-term conditions, with some Trusts allocating significantly more resources to specialist care and support than others. The concern now is that the same will happen with fibromyalgia and many people will still not in fact be able to access the vital services they need.

“This will continue to be the case for as long as the Health Service goes unreformed. Today’s news just reinforces the need for immediate publication of the Bengoa Report, immediate discussion by the Health Committee of its content, and an immediate plan with cross-party backing for implementation of meaningful reform, not least to make sure that no one with a long-term condition goes without specialist support.”

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