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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Screening

Health written question – answered on 6th June 2007.

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Photo of Elliot Morley Elliot Morley Labour, Scunthorpe

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the NHS (a) has approved and (b) is developing any test that can diagnose myalgic encephalomyelitis in individuals; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) (Care Services)

At present, there is no specific test for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). Diagnosis is dependent on the recognition of the type and pattern of symptoms and tests to rule out other illnesses and conditions that can cause some or all of the symptoms experienced by the patient.

In 2004, the Department asked the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce a clinical guideline on the diagnosis and management of CFS/ME. The guideline, which NICE expects to publish in August 2007, will include recommendations on the process of assessment leading to diagnosis and will include guidance on clinical case definition, appropriate timing for diagnosis and the use of laboratory, imaging or other tests.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No2 people think not

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Jane Birkby
Posted on 7 Jun 2007 9:58 pm (Report this annotation)

The answer given by Ivan Lewis contains no specifics, and disassociates the Department of Health from the process, therebye avoiding responsibility for the outcome.
This is totally unacceptable to me as a patient with M.E./Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
NICE have been in the business of avoiding, and sidelining the issue, including all the wealth of research done around the world, from which a definitive set of diagnostic tests can be constructed.
It is to be hoped that the Clinical Case definition guidance, will be the most up to date Canadian Criteria, and not the outdated PACE and Fukuda criteria.
Three years, is two and a half years too long to have been deliberating this issue, and the Department of Health should be earning their salaries by putting pressure on NICE to expedite the matter.
There is also no mention of funding for the second part of Dr Jonathan Kerr's genetic work, which could offer a solution to this troublesome and debilitating condition.

Jane Birkby
Posted on 7 Jun 2007 10:02 pm

This annotation has been removed

Jane Birkby
Posted on 7 Jun 2007 10:05 pm

This annotation has been removed

Jane Birkby
Posted on 7 Jun 2007 10:06 pm

This annotation has been removed