All Party Parliamentary Group on M.E. update
Following discussion between elected officers, the joint Secretariat, and M.E. charity partners, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on M.E. will not be re-registered at this time.
One of hundreds of informal cross-party groups in the UK parliament, the APPG on M.E. was established to improve the lives of people with M.E. by working collaboratively to stimulate greater understanding and awareness of the illness, and tackling key policy areas to improve outcomes for people affected by M.E.
Like all APPGs, the APPG on M.E. was disbanded when parliament dissolved for the General Election earlier this year. Going forward, we want to ensure we maximise opportunities to engage with parliamentarians by making the best use of the resources and capacity we have.
Following consultation with elected APPG officers, and charity partners who attended the Forward M.E. meeting in July, both charities agree that, instead of re-registering the group and committing to being joint Secretariat, we can achieve better outcomes for more people affected by M.E. by engaging strategically with MPs, peers and decision-makers on an individual basis.
The Countess of Mar, former Co-Chair of the APPG, says, “It is extremely challenging to ensure that MPs and peers reliably commit to attending APPG meetings. Despite the best efforts of the Secretariat and charity partners, there has simply not been the momentum needed to drive the changes we want to achieve.
“I believe we can exert more influence by inviting parliamentarians to attend Forward M.E. meetings, where we focus on specific and urgent issues such as the NICE guideline and provision of NHS services. In addition, I have asked to join the well-established APPG on Disability, and will strive to ensure that it considers the needs of people with M.E., including the severely affected, in its work.”