Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Department of Health written question – answered on 11th July 2016.

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Photo of Jamie Reed Jamie Reed Labour, Copeland

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the diagnostic process for myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

As the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) resemble those of other forms of debilitating illness, and there is no test with which to make an accurate diagnosis, it is not always easy to diagnose single cases of the condition. Diagnosis relies on clinical observation of symptoms by healthcare professionals. In 2007, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) produced the clinical guidance, Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy): Diagnosis and management of CFS/ME in adults and children. This guidance set out best practice on the diagnosis, treatment care and support of children and adults with CFS/ME.

The NICE last reviewed the guidance with its stakeholders, including CFS/ME charities, in 2013. The review found no update was required. The full guideline may be viewed on the NICE website at the following link:

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