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'Womans Hour' on Radio 4 features Fibromyalgia

( 33 minutes in and Real player may be required to listen to this programme.)

Awareness week 2008 BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour will be carrying out a piece on Fibromyalgia on Monday 8th September between 10am and 10.45am as part of FMA UK's Awareness Week. 

Womans Hour It will be featuring FMA UK Medical Advisory Board member Dr Ernest Choy, a consultant Rheumatologist and Director of Research and Development at King's College Hospital. It will also feature Janet Horton FMA UK trustee (you will also know her from the benefits helpline and the forum), and Barbara a sufferer.

Details are still subject to change and, from talking to the producer of the show, it sounds as if it will be a good piece on awareness week.

If you miss the program then you can catch it for up to a week after it has aired on the BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour home page. There is some information on awareness week below and the people taking part in the programme.

Awareness Week
Fibromyalgia Awareness Week was the brainchild of our late chairman Bob Stewart in 2002. Bob wanted an event that was unique to FMA UK as there was already an International Awareness Day on 12th May.  Since then other organisations have adopted this week to raise awareness of fibromyalgia.  Bob would have welcomed this ‘working together’ approach.

It is an opportunity for the support groups working with FMA UK to raise awareness on a regional and local level. This year there are coffee mornings, tombola's, stands in shopping markets, a Fancy Dress ball, and a lot more. 

FMA UK on a national and European level is promoting the adoption of clinical guidelines by health authorities in the UK and the European Union. We are promoting a EU declaration to support this aim and we have sent letters to ALL UK MEP's, and our colleagues in other national Patient organisations under the umbrella of the European Network of Fibromyalgia Associations (ENFA).

Dr Ernest Choy
Ernest is a member of FMA UK Medical Advisory Board (MAB) along with a collection of eminent FM specialists. He is a consultant Rheumatologist and Director of Research and Development at King's College Hospital. Dr Choy is currently a member of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Committee responsible for developing recommendations for management and classification criteria for Fibromyalgia These were the first guidelines on the treatment of Fibromyalgia to be produced in Europe. 

Janet Horton
Janet is one of the longest serving Trustees for FMA UK. She has been the Benefits Adviser for FMA UK since 1994 and in the last 3 years she has  taken on the role of answering the e-mails that come into FMA UK from many different sources. She also oversee the benefits and employment part of the forum on the website.

She is married with three children and six grandchildren. She has had Fibromyalgia for many years and was diagnosed with FM in 1993. 

Fibromyalgia Association UK
Fibromyalgia Association UK was first established in 1992 to provide information to people with fibromyalgia.  In 1997 it began working also with the 40 support groups around the country providing free information leaflets and books for sale.  There are now over 120 support groups working with FMA UK and a network of regional coordinators who help set up new groups and arrange regional events such as meetings and conferences. The charity is mostly run by volunteers without whom we would not be able to provide the level of service we do.

Currently we supply information through our website, monthly magazine and professional and patient booklets.  We have a national helpline for general enquiries about fibromyalgia and one specifically for benefit queries. We have also held national and regional conferences with international speakers for both people with fibromyalgia and medical professionals. 

Our Medical Advisory Board is comprised of expert medical professionals in various disciplines who provide information for our publications and specific queries. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Fibromyalgia was formed in 2001 and holds regular meetings to inform MPs of the problems surrounding fibromyalgia and possible solutions.

Radio 4's Woman's Hour
This programme has been broadcast for over 60 years, first on the BBC's Light Programme (now called Radio 2) and then on Radio 4. In its current format the first 45 minutes of the programme consists of reports, interviews and debates on health, education, cultural and political topics, with the last 15 minutes being taken up with short-run drama serials.

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