Hywel Dda University Health Board is supporting patients living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) in Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire by asking local GPs to take part in a survey aimed at developing pathways for future care.

With the launch of International ME Awareness Day on Friday, the Health Board has sent out a questionnaire to all GP practices across the three counties as it seeks to put in place a pathway that supports patients through primary, community and secondary care.

ME is a long-term (chronic), fluctuating, neurological condition that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems. It affects an estimated 13,000 people in Wales and 1,600 in Hywel Dda’s three counties.

ME Awareness Week, which is supported by the Welsh Association of ME and CFS Support (WAMES) aims to raise awareness and understanding of the condition, working with children, families and adults affected by it and the professionals that support them.

Claire Hurlin, Head of Chronic Conditions Management at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said:

“ME is a serious, life-altering condition which affects people in a number of different ways. Some patients make good progress and may recover, while others can remain ill for a number of years and may not get better. Some people find that they don’t go back completely to the way they felt before they became ill, but they do recover sufficiently to lead happy and fulfilling lives. This is similar to many other chronic illnesses.

“By issuing this questionnaire to GPs we are reaching out to patients who suffer from ME so that we can better understand how we can care for them in the future. We are pleased to be supporting ME Awareness Week and would ask everyone living in the Hywel Dda area to take a moment to understand and reflect on the implications of this life-altering condition.”

For more information contact the Welsh Association of ME & CFS Support (WAMES) at www.wames.org.uk; email helpline@wames.org.uk or phone 029 2051 5061.

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