“On a Postcard, please” Campaign Flyer

Graphic copyright meagenda

Please note that the Read ME UK Events site, the “On a Postcard, please” Campaign, the Postcard Campaign Flyer and associated “Squeeze” graphic are initiatives independent of the RSM demonstration being organised by Gus Ryan. All enquiries about the Postcard Campaign and Read ME UK Events site should be addressed to Suzy Chapman.

Postcard Campaign

“On a Postcard, please” Campaign | Royal Society of Medicine CFS Conference | Monday 28th April 2008

Yesterday, “On a Postcard, please” Campaign flyers were emailed out to local/regional group co-ordinators.  If you’re not on my mailing list you can download a copy of the Flyer and the RSM CFS Conference programme, below:

Word Postcard Flyer Word doc (55KB)

PDF Postcard Flyer PDF (105KB)

RSM CFS programme  PDF (70KB)

Postcard address

For those not yet aware, on 28 April, the Royal Society of Medicine is holding a conference on “Chronic fatigue syndrome”. 

The conference programme states that the “…aim of the meeting is to take a broad look at chronic fatigue syndrome, examining its nature and definition, pathophysiology, epidemiology, clinical assessment and diagnosis, the patient perspective, and various approaches to treatment. This is a scientific conference and there will be an emphasis on an evidence-based approach throughout […] Those attending the meeting will gain understanding of the various aspects of CFS being discussed, and be better able to help people suffering from this disabling condition. The conference is intended for all health professionals who are involved in the assessment and treatment of those with CFS…”

Professors Simon Wessely and Peter D White were members of the RSM’s CFS Conference Planning Committee and the speakers are mostly drawn from psychiatric/psychological backgrounds.

Speakers include Professors Simon Wessely (KCL), Peter D White (BARTS, PACE), Matthew Hotopf, Rona Moss-Morris (CBT/GET), Chris Dowrick (FINE Trials) and Dr Anthony Cleare (IoP).  Session chairs include Professor Mansel Aylward (Unum Provident Centre for Disability) and Richard Baker (NICE). 

There has been great deal of concern about the line-up for this conference and who is behind it. 

The conference is for members of the RSM and health care professionals only.  There are no seats for members of the public and the RSM has told me that the meeting is not open to the Press and that there will be no transcripts or DVDs available.  The RSM has yet to confirm to me who initiated this conference or whether it is sponsored – and if so, by whom.  UNUM? NICE?

AfME’s CEO, Sir Peter Spencer, has agreed to be a speaker at this conference to represent the “patient perspective”.  Other national patient organisations have issued position statements about the bias of the conference, itself, and AfME’s decision to participate in it. 

There are a number of initiatives in protest against this event: a demo outside the RSM building is being organised by Gus Ryan for the afternoon of the conference and Greg Crowhurst has launched an email campaign as a protest against AfME’s decision to provide a speaker for this event. 

I am maintaining a blog at: http://readmeukevents.wordpress.com for issues surrounding the RSM Conference, where you can also read full copies of what national ME charity and patient organisations are saying about this event.

Read position statements from AfME, The ME Association, 25% M.E. Group, The Young ME Sufferers Trust, Invest in ME and RiME here:

I’m asking all of you who aren’t going to be able to attend the demo being organised by Gus Ryan to send a postcard to the Dean of the RSM, instead.

Please circulate the Flyer to your own contacts within the UK and internationally (ME sufferers in Australia and other countries are also sending postcards).  If you are a local/regional ME group co-ordinator or run an internet forum or message board please alert your group members to this campaign. 

We have three weeks before this conference in which to let the RSM know what we think.  Please send a postcard – the address and full details are in the Flyer.

You can download a copy of the RSM CFS Conference Programme here:  http://rsmcfsprogramme.notlong.com

Thank you,

Suzy Chapman


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