DoH Working Group

9th February 2018

The first meeting of the Department of Health Meningitis Working Group was held at the end of January

Department of Health

Paul Gentry, Kirsty Ermenekli and Nicole Zographou attended as representatives of families who have lost loved ones to meningitis. We also attended.

Chaired by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van Tam, the meeting agreed terms of reference. The focus of the group’s work will include public and professional awareness of meningitis and its signs and symptoms, actions required to build on good practice in early diagnosis, and how the challenges in effective diagnosis can be overcome.

Sharing personal stories

Paul, Kirsty and Nicole played a central role in discussions by sharing their personal stories with the group, which sparked a vigorous discussion about the systemic failures that led to the loss of their loved ones, and in conversations with the clinicians and experts around common themes such as lack of early diagnosis and treatment and confusion around vaccine awareness amongst parents/families.

The DCMO stated that the group’s report and recommendations will be presented to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, for consideration in March.

This group will meet again later this month.