"lack of GP awareness and support"

About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

(as the patient),

I spoke to my GP about my thoughts regarding my poor health. I suggested that I thought I could Fibromyalgia. I saw a rheumatologist since and have now been given a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I have spoken with m any other sufferers who also say that their GPs do not have a lot of understanding, acceptance or awareness of Fibromyalgia - leaving myself and others frightened to go to our GP for support. I feel that GPs need to accept this condition for the debilitating illness it is. Many people with Fibromyalgia are isolated and to further feel they are not accepted or taken seriously by GPs is heartbreaking. The NHS website now lists fibromyalgia in their list of conditions, so why are GPs so resistant?

I feel GPs need to be educated on Fibromyalgia, so a better service and treatment can be given to those of us who suffer with this condition.

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Response from Des Quinn, Vice Chair, Fibromyalgia Association UK (FMA UK)

picture of Des Quinn

The level of GP knowledge and support is a post code lottery with some excellent practitioners that offer first class support to their patients. Often younger locums provide a breath of fresh air to practices as they are more aware of current research.

However it is a duty of all doctors to keep abreast of research and practices and most of all provide support for their patients. Its not uncommon for our charity to hear of patients that feel their worries and concerns about their condition are dismissed. Even more worryingly there are the stories of people that have all new symptoms that they are experiencing automatically listed as "part of their fibro and they are not to worry." All new symptoms need to be considered and followed up on so that other conditions that can be treated differently are not dismissed out of hand.

If you would like to find out more about fibromyalgia you can look at www.fmauk.org for information on the condition and the activities of the national fibromyalgia charity. There is an online community as well as help in finding one of the support groups around the UK. Our printed patient booklet has a section titled “What is Fibromyalgia” which you can view online here: www.fmauk.org/whatisfm

We were instrumental in bringing the "Fibromyalgia - Map of Medicine" into being along with other charities where doctors can see best practice.


Also we have been producing a medical professionals booklet that is regularly sent to GPs and contains fully referenced information about the condition again to encourage best practice and help medical professionals treat patients. More info can be found here: www.fmauk.org/gp

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