LETTER: MP has been supportive

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There was a report in the Middy (March 24) about a local resident who felt that Sir Nicholas Soames MP had been unhelpful when she contacted him about government proposals to reduce benefits for the disabled.

I would like make it absolutely clear that reMEmber is completely opposed to reduction of benefits for disabled people – and thanks to protests by patient organisations there is now every indication that this proposal will be withdrawn.

However, I would like to make it equally clear that Sir Nicholas has been most supportive of reMEmber and is very sympathetic to the needs of people who suffer from ME. He has helped to raise funds to help ME sufferers and for research into the illness.

He helped us to raise over £2,000 with a talk entitled “Winston Churchill, My Grandfather” at Danny House and he is donating a raffle prize for our Rock and Roll Evening at Danny on 23 April. He asked questions in the House of Commons and also put in written questions on our behalf. He is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on ME and Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Worthing) is the chair. The Countess of Mar has raised issues in the House of Lords for us.

Sir Nicholas has raised our concerns about lack of adequate services in Mid Sussex for Children and Young People and the whole of Sussex for adults. His concerns have triggered the Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group to form a steering group to get to grips with the complex problems our patients have.

We are working with Health Watch West Sussex and will be approaching Health Watch East Sussex to conduct a survey and analyse the social care needs of patients. We will have a talk on 14 May at the Martlets Hall at 2pm with Dr Amolak Bansal who is the clinical lead of the Surrey ME Service and Dr Charles Shepherd who is the Medical Adviser to the National ME Association.

We are a small but vigorous charity run by a small group of volunteers. Last year when we received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Sir Nicholas was among the first to congratulate us. Any offers of constructive help will be gratefully received.

Janice Kent

Director, reMEmber, Hassocks

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