A WHITCHURCH woman is helping patients with debilitating conditions by leading a new support group in the town.
Donna Teague hopes to build on the success of the countywide scheme which she helped launch three years ago, led by Radbrook Medical Practice in Shrewsbury and supported by the Clinical Commissioning Group.
The initiative is aimed primarily at those who suffer from the likes of ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
The new group is one of three across the county which will meet weekly at GP surgeries. But Donna, who has a close family member with the illness, hopes to take that one step further by launching other groups in the Whitchurch area and beyond.
She said: “The groups work so well it would be a great benefit to ME/CFS sufferers if we could start more of them.
“Any surgery that would like to know more can contact me.”
The groups liaise with community care co-ordinators and Donna facilitates all the support groups, helping them share information in a non-judgemental setting, covering subjects such as diet, relaxation and pain relief.
She explained 250,000 people in the UK are affected by ME and CFS, with 25 per cent of sufferers so severely affected they are housebound – and the most severe five per cent needing 24-hour care and tube feeding.
Donna continued: “Symptoms can fluctuate from day to day and even within hours.
“Symptom fluctuation is one reason why it is hard for the medical profession to give a clear lead on how to treat these awful conditions.
“Another is the symptoms vary widely in intensity as well as duration, and they are things all people get occasionally, such as severe fatigue, joint pain or headaches.
“But there are many more symptoms which can hit ME/CFS sufferers and really disable them.”
The other Shropshire groups meet in Shrewsbury and Bishops Castle.
Any surgeries that would like to host a support group meeting, or anyone who would like to attend a group, can contact Donna on 07413 529994 or email@example.com or take a look at the ME Group’s website at www.shropshiremegroup.org.uk