Nice guidance aims to improve ME care

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has issued guidance to improve the “varying quality” of healthcare for people with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME that has made some feel their condition is not recognised by professionals.

The guidance, which applies to children and adults calls on health professionals to acknowledge the “reailty and impact of the condition and the symptoms”, which can include fatigue, difficulty with sleeping, muscle pain and headaches.

It calls for professionals to develop a “supportive and collaborative relationship” with patients and carers, diagnose adults within four months and children within three months of presenting symptoms and provide individual care plans for people.

The guidance says research has shown cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise to increase people’s level of activity produce the greatest benefits.

Professor Richard Baker, chair of the guideline development group and a GP, said: “Care for people with CFS/ME has varied widely, and in the worst cases, has left some people with the condition feeling that their illness isn’t recognised by the healthcare system.”

Ute Elliot, patient representative on the guideline group, said: “It’s important that doctors and other specialists understand how disabling CFS/ME can be, and why it’s vital that people with CFS/ME are treated as individuals as the condition affects each person differently.”

More information
The ME Association
Action for ME
National service framework for long-term conditions not made a priority
Essential information on health

Contact the author
Mithran Samuel



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