On the 27th of February, the fibromyalgia petition team, along with MP Toby Perkins came to the Department for Work and Pensions to meet with the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health & Work following a Westminster Hall debate on the recognition of fibromyalgia as a disability on the 15th of January.
The Meeting follows a petition set up by Chesterfield Constituent Adrienne Lakin who set up a petition on Change.org which has over 120,000 signatures, the petition can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-make-fibromyalgia-a-disability
The Minister heard from the fibromyalgia petition team who informed the Minister and her team about their experience with fibromyalgia including benefits, assessment and the full range of symptoms they have.
The meeting led to some very constructive discussions and points for actions including further meetings with health providers. If the suggested steps are taken it will amplify the voice of fibromyalgia sufferers and could pave the way to improve treatment, diagnosis and assessment.
The Minister instructed department officials to include fibromyalgia campaigners as stakeholders in their fibromyalgia consultation to improve diagnosis. She also offered to set up a meeting with DWP officials & assessment firms to promote more feedback on how the assessment regime is working.
After the meeting, Toby said, “we look forward to seeing what steps are made in response to this meeting and hope that steps will be made to make life for people with Fibromyalgia much easier”