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14th September 2016

Today charities and patient organisations including METRO have joined forces for a display of unity, in response to the 'divisive' communications from NHS England over which specialised treatments it will fund.

"Over recent weeks, we have been alarmed by the 'divide and rule' tactics used by NHS England when communicating which new treatments it will make available to patients.

"These funding decisions affect the lives of people with a range of rare or complex conditions. As organisations representing the patients who would benefit from these treatments, we are concerned by the way in which NHS England has publicly pitted the interests of one patient group against another in its press statements.

"All patients, and all conditions, matter.", letter published today in The Times, signed by leaders representing patients with rare or complex conditions.

Signatories included patient groups National Voices and the Specialised Healthcare Alliance, as well as charities representing patients with epilepsy, Parkinson's, Motor Neurone Disease, Hepatitis C, rare blood cancer WM, pituitary disorders and those at risk of HIV.

A host of wider patient organisations have also joined in by tweeting photos of their staff and supporters holding up signs reading #PatientsTogether.

In light of this week's High Court hearing about HIV prevention drug, PrEP, NHS England will soon look again at which treatments it will fund.

The letter warns: "Whatever the outcome, we must not see a repeat of this divisive approach."

The signatories concluded: "We understand the NHS must make difficult choices. All we ask from our national health service is to adopt an ethical and transparent approach in taking these decisions and to communicate them in a way that is respectful to the people who are affected by them."

Join us and show your support on social media with the hashtag #PatientsTogether.

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Joan - First Point

Thank you so much for taking time to listen to me and truly understand how I am feeling. This is the only appointment I've had regarding HIV that didnít feel rushed.

Abimbola- First Point

It has been a long time since I felt that someone actually listened to me.

Simon - Mentoring

By discussing things at such an intimate level with my mentor, I really came face to face with some of the reasons why I was taking chances before.

Peter- First Point

I felt so relieved to have a named First Point worker who I can call if I need to be referred to a particular service.

Ebere - First Point

I wish this service was around when I was newly diagnosed. I felt my world had fallen apart around me and I didn't know which way to turn for support. You are offering a very valuable service.

Michael - Counselling

I gained a huge amount of help from the counselling service and would like to thank the service for offering so much support.

Sarah - Counselling

The help and understanding I experienced from everyone I came into contact with whilst using the Metroís services was amazing.

Kwasi - Mentoring

During the 6 month programme, I developed a close relationship with my mentor. Knowing that I would have to talk to him honestly about what I did in the previous 2 weeks somehow forced me to be safe every time I had an encounter.

Joe - Mentoring

The programme had such an impact on my life that I decided to come on board as a volunteer mentor!

David - Counselling

Outstanding people. Outstanding service. Outstanding counselling. Truly something that has allowed me to turn my life around.

METRO is always looking for talented people of all backgrounds for a variety of interesting roles, as employees and volunteers.
Support comes in many forms, money is one of them! We'd very much appreciate a donation to help us continue our work.