Response to standard letter issued by Ian Balmer, CE of the Royal Society of Medicine
15 May 2008
To: Mr Ian Balmer, CE Royal Society of Medicine
CC: Dr John Scadding, Dean Royal Society of Medicine
Re: Standard letter issued by RSM on 12 May 2008 re CFS Conference held on 28 April 2008
Dear Mr Balmer,
Yesterday I received from you what appears to be a standard letter which is being issued to those who had written in to the RSM in connection with the CFS Conference, held on 28 April. [Dated 12 May]
I have a query about a comment you have made, in your letter, in relation to the taking of stands at the conference. You have said:
“Although this was principally a conference for health professionals, the RSM did offer free stands to two patient interest groups. Indeed these offers were taken up and representatives of three groups were present and distributed a wide range of leaflets and documents.”
It is my understanding that the ME Association took a stand at the conference which was manned by the MEA’s Tony Britton.
You have stated that “representatives of three groups were present and distributed a wide range of leaflets and documents.”
I should be pleased if you could clarify which two other patient interest groups, in addition to the ME Association, had representatives distributing leaflets and documents within the RSM’s building, itself, and by arrangement with the conference organisers?
In your letter, you say that two major areas of criticism were identified that were common to most of the letters the RSM had received.
The first that “the conference was predominantly discussing this issue with reference to guidelines produced by NICE”; the second major criticism being that “the conference itself excluded patients”.
However, the RSM will also have received a large number of complaints about the fact that the Planning Committee for the CFS Conference comprised no less than four psychiatrists and that a significant number of those selected to give presentations were also from predominately psychiatric/psychological backgrounds.
But this concern remains unaddressed in the letter you have issued on behalf of the RSM. I would appreciate a response from the RSM to this specific concern, especially since it was the primary concern I had raised, myself, in my own communication.
In the meantime, since there is some confusion amongst members of the ME patient community about which patient interest groups were distributing literature within the RSM building, itself, I should be pleased if this issue could be addressed first.