ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP
Latest News: Brilliant backbench debate!
Thanks to the wonderful efforts of the PANS PANDAS APPG members, a backbench debate on PANS and PANDAS took place in Westminster Hall on Tuesday 12th September.
Secured by Wendy Chamberlain MP, the debate saw compelling speeches from Members representing all political parties and all four UK nations. Each MP who stood and spoke was in attendance because one or more of their constituents had contacted them asking for help accessing appropriate support for their child with PANS or PANDAS. There was true cross-party consensus that more needs to be done to improve awareness, diagnosis, treatment and support for this cohort of children and their families.
Maria Caulfield MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, attended the debate and listened attentively to the requests put forward by those present. Her response, which acknowledged PANS and PANDAS as discrete disease entities, was welcomed by those in the public gallery, as was her commitment to meet with key stakeholders, drive forward UK-led research, distribute targeted information to GPs via NHS England and to speak to the Education Minister about support in schools.
We are so grateful to all the MPs who made the time to attend or to speak to us afterwards. We are also incredibly proud of our Youth Board for courageously sharing their experiences with Wendy Chamberlain in advance of the debate. Your knowledge and experience shaped the direction of the debate and, no doubt, will help to shape brighter futures for other young people with PANS and PANDAS. Last, but not least, a heartfelt thank you to all those parents and carers who wrote to their MPs, urging them to attend the debate or join the APPG. It really made all the difference.
Please check back here for the latest updates on our progress in Parliament.
The PANS PANDAS APPG has the objective of using political influence (from members of parliament across all political parties) to improve the detection, diagnosis and provision of treatment for PANS and PANDAS in the UK.
PANS PANDAS All Party Parliamentary Group Members
Robin Millar MP
Sarah Green MP
Ruth Cadbury MP
Kim Leadbeater MP
Dr Dan Poulter MP
Wendy Chamberlain MP (not in photo)
The latest update on our recently reconvened PANS PANDAS UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is that things are gathering pace. In order to build on the momentum started with the publication of the PANS PANDAS Working Group Statement and the recent questions which have been raised in Parliament, we held a drop-in session in Westminster on 12th June.
Charity representatives were joined by community representatives, all of whom who have children or young adults affected by PANS or PANDAS. This is the first event of its kind for the charity, and it was a successful afternoon with twelve MPs and their staff coming to see us.
Robin Millar Conservative MP for Aberconwy and Chair of the APPG
Wendy Chamberlain, Deputy Leader Scottish Liberal Democrats and MP for North-East Fife
Liz Twist, Labour MP for Blaydon
Rosie Duffield (in absentia), Labour MP for Canterbury
Martin Vickers, Conservative MP for Cleethorpes
Steve Brine, Conservative MP for Winchester and Chairperson of the Health Select Committee
Andrew Selous, Conservative MP for South-West Bedfordshire
Selaine Saxby, Conservative MP for North Devon
Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck
Kim Leadbeater, Labour MP for Batley and Spen
Julian Lewis, Conservative MP for New Forest East
Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Labour MP for Leicester South
Ruth Cadbury, Labour MP for Brentforth and Isleworth
Every MP who attended had been written to or visited by a constituent with PANS or PANDAS and each one had clearly been impacted by their constituent’s story. This goes to show what an enormous difference it can make when you write to your MP. The success of this event is entirely down to our community’s great efforts.
A petition was raised by Wendy Chamberlain, Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats for a back bench debate, which was supported by all those present (with the exception of those who are front benchers or PPS’s as they are unable to support such petitions).
We know many of you have already written to your MPs to ask them to support the APPG and we thank you for this. Please if you are able, do write to them again asking them to lend their support to the APPG and the back bench debate led by Wendy Chamberlain. Please feel free to use the template letter below.
You can ask your MP to support the APPG by contacting the office of Robin Millar MP for Aberconwy. You can find your local MP’s details at Find MPs - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament. You will also see a template above if your child or young person would like to write to their MP.
If ever there was a time to raise your voice for PANS and PANDAS, this is it!
If you have questions or comments, please email PANS PANDAS UK
How you can help
APPG update - June 2023