Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body and the exact cause of the condition is unknown.

Although there’s currently no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatments to help relieve some of the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with.

Previous to the 100 day challenge, patients suspected of having a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia were referred to the rheumatology department at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Due to the extra demand this created, it had an impact on the waiting time to see a rheumatology consultant.

As part of the latest 100 day challenge we piloted a combined Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). An MDT is a group of health care workers and social care professionals who are experts in different areas with different professional backgrounds. They came together as a team for the purposes of planning and implementing treatment programmes for complex medical conditions.

The MDT supported the roll out of an initial fibromyalgia education group for patients with a diagnosis and a further optional 6 week therapy group for those patients who require further support.  The course content involved chronic pain management, mindfulness, diet, exercise advice and additional resources. If required, patients could also access additional psychological support at the end of the course but normally they would be discharged with support in the community and self-help groups.

Many people with fibromyalgia find that support groups provide an important network where they can talk to others living with the condition.