David Simpson MP, the local Fibromyalgia Ambassador held an awareness raising conference for the condition at Craigavon Civic Centre on Thursday 19th October 2017.
Over 170 service users and carers together with clinicians, commissioners, third sector colleagues, local MLAs and Councillors learned about the realities of this long-term condition and heard what progress has been made at both a local and national level. David Simpson spoke to highlight the impact it has on people's lives and add his voice at Westminster to support ongoing work in Northern Ireland.
The Patient and Client Council have been working in partnership with fibromyalgia patients, their carers and Dr Christine McMaster from the Public Health Agency to improve services for those living with the condition, improve the diagnostic process and provide better support for carers.
Formal recognition of fibromyalgia as a long term condition and the introduction of a co-produced fibromyalgia pathway for patients were identified as significant milestones in our journey so far - but more needs to be done to raise the profile and support for this condition. Speaking at the event Louise Skelly from the Patient and Client Council commended progress to date that has been achieved in partnership with patients. The Patient and Client Council is committed to working with service users and our colleagues across the health and social care system to bring about meaningful change for patients living with fibromyalgia.
A video called 'Our Experiences Living With Fibromyalgia, was shown at the conference and you can watch it here: