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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of Health, (1) what action her Department is taking to reduce the length of time taken to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis; (138399)

(2) what her strategy is to ensure that local service providers meet local need for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome services.

In 2004 the Department formally requested the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and management of chronic fatigue/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). NICE expects to publish this guidance in August 2007.

Local national health service organisations have the responsibility to demonstrate that they are making progress towards achieving the level of service quality described in the National Service Framework for Long-term Conditions (the NSF). Since publication of the NSF, the Department has co-ordinated a range of activity to help local health and social care organisations take forward implementation of the NSF. This includes:

working with key NHS, social care, voluntary and independent sector stakeholders, as well as service users and carers, to identify and address key issues in neurological services and the stakeholders' role in implementation;

ensuring that other key delivery programmes, most especially the White Paper ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ and the long-term conditions strategy help deliver key NSF objectives; and

work with the Care Services Improvement Partnership to promote implementation of the NSF through a co-ordinated work programme, including regional workshops, a web-based getting started pack and self-assessment tool for services.