Mike Pollock, OUCH’s chairman addressed Westminster’s All Party Group on Primary Headache Disorders during a meeting held in the House of Commons on December 11. The All Party Group has a particular interest in headache types such as migraine, trigeminal neuralgia and, of course, cluster headaches. The Group has around twenty members from a number of political parties and includes MPs as well as members of the House of Lords.
Mike explained the real challenges faced by those who suffer from CH and showed the Group the variety of treatments used to abort attacks such as sumatriptan injections, a gammacore device as well as an oxygen cylinder.
Other speakers included medical specialists who sought to give professional guidance on the challenges that exist to treat primary headaches properly in England’s NHS. Another evidence gathering meeting will be held in January where OUCH’s President, Professor Peter Goadsby will be among a second group of experts.
Mike reminded the Group that effective treatment of CH and other primary headache disorders depended on specific headache training at all levels of primary, secondary and tertiary care. Correct and speedy diagnosis had the potential to save a lot of money for the NHS. Additionally he stressed that there should be more specialist tertiary headache centres and that GPs should be encouraged to gain further expertise and knowledge on headache matters. Research into new treatments would be most welcome and further use should be made of the newer and cost-effective ways of aborting the horrors of CH which are now coming online.
The All Party Group will produce a report next Spring based on the evidence it has collected. All the charities involved in the area of primary headaches will then use the report as part of their on-going public affairs work.