HC Deb 04 March 1997 vol 291 c566W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into fibromyalgia; what treatment is available for it under the NHS; and if he will make a statement. [18100]

Mr. Horam

The Department of Health has not commissioned or evaluated any research into fibromyalgia. The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant in aid from the Department of Trade and Industry. The MRC is an independent body deciding what research to support on its own expert judgment. The council is always willing to consider soundly based scientific proposals in competition with other applications.

Decisions about the treatment of individual patients with fibromyalgia are the responsibility of the doctors concerned who are required to exercise their clinical judgment, in consultation with their patients, informed by the patient's medical history.

The organisation of health services and the manner in which they are delivered are matters for health authorities in their role as purchasers of services for their populations. They enter into arrangements with hospital and community units—trusts—to ensure that the entire range of services is available, taking account of the needs of the local population and the priorities set for the use of the available resources.