Collaborative Conference on CFS/ME: 4-5 October 2007

Note: The programme for this conference has been developed in collaboration with the UK ME/CFS charities AfME (Action for ME) and AYME  (Association of Young People with ME). ME agenda can find no references to this forthcoming conference on either AfME or AYME’s websites.

Presenters include Vincent Deary (formerly King’s College London CFS Unit), Trudie Chalder (Professor of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy, Department of Psychological Medicine, King’s College London and colleague of Professor Simon Wessely) and Dr Mary Burgess (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research and Treatment Unit, KCL); the Keynote speaker is Professor Gijs Bleijenberg, Clinical Psychologist and Head of the Nijmegen Expert Centre for Chronic Fatigue, Netherlands – another CBT for CFS “school”.

Those who haven’t come across the name of Dr Mary Burgess may wish to familiarise themselves with her notorious paper posted on the King’s College London CFS Unit website Physiological Aspects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This unreferenced paper, based on the work of Dr Pauline Powell (MRC FINE Trial) concludes that the symptoms of CFS/ME are caused and maintained by nothing more than “deconditioning”, “faulty illness beliefs” and anxiety and that all symptoms are “reversible by a programme of gradual physical rehabilitation”.

ME/CFS charity members and non members outraged by the endorsement of this conference by patient organisations AfME and AYME should contact Sir Peter Spencer CEO of AfME and Mary Jane Willows CEO of the children and young person’s organisation, AYME.

The Physiotherapy Pain Association  NHS Collaborative Conference on CFS/ME 2007

Download Conference Information Booklet [Ed: I have been asked to remove this booklet by AYME, 06.07.09].

AYME and Action for ME in collaboration with the National Network for CFS/ME Therapists and the National NHS Collaboration

Milton Keynes 4th – 5th October

Invitation and Registration Programme

You are invited to attend the first Collaborative Conference on CFS/ME, which has been developed with a broad base of support and is intended to interest a wide audience. Many of you will know that the National Network of therapists has met in October for many years, and this conference stands in the place of the meeting this year.

The National NHS Collaboration grew from the national meetings of the Clinical Network and Coordinating Centres representatives, and continues to coordinate the development of effective NHS services for people with CFS/ME. There is of course an overlap in membership between the Network and the Collaboration. The programme was developed in collaboration with AYME and AfME, and we hope that the learning and networking opportunities at the conference will be stronger as a result.

Programme Outline

The programme will be divided into three sections. The first, on Thursday morning, involves a choice of meetings. The second, on Thursday afternoon, involves a choice of workshops. Plenary sessions and the Keynote Speaker, Professor Gijs Bleijenberg, will take place during the day on Friday. In addition, there will be a poster presentation throughout the conference, and a conference dinner on Thursday evening.

Registration and registration fees

You will find a registration form at the end of this document: please complete this, and return it before the first of August for an “Early Bird” discount.

Registration Fees are:
Early registration (until 1st August) £100 for one day, £180 for both
Late registration £125 for one day, £200 for both days
Paediatric Special Interest Group alone: £50
Conference Dinner: £25 plus wine

Accommodation is not included within these costs (see below for accommodation details). CME approval is pending: attendance certificates will be supplied.

Invitation To Submit Abstracts For Posters

The CFS Network is inviting delegates to submit posters about their work. We would like particularly to attract work from health professionals at the grassroots level of CFS (clinical and research) and encourage those who may not have published previously in this field.

The conference programme will include an “interactive” poster session when authors can give a 3-minute talk summarising their poster and answer questions. Delegates will also have the opportunity to view posters before the conference and during the breaks.

The subject matter for posters should fall into one or more of the following categories:

Reports of evidence based practice with patients with CFS
Original research (which may be ongoing) which advances our theoretical understanding of CFS or its treatment
Issues affecting the provision of services for patients with CFS
CFS Service Audits

Members of the executive committee will review abstract submissions. Successful submissions will be invited to display the poster at the Conference, where invited judges will choose the best poster.

We are hoping to be able to offer a prize for the best poster and presentation

Please submit your poster abstract in MS Word as an email attachment, by Friday 3 August 2007 to: Gabrielle Murphy

Your abstract should contain the following information:

Email address of contact author
Body of abstract – no more than 200 words. Please structure this as appropriate for the subject material, e.g. for research reports, use the following headings: Background/objectives; design/methods; results; discussion/conclusions/clinical implications. Case studies or reports of qualitative work may vary from this format.

You will be informed by Friday 17th August whether your abstract has been accepted for a poster at the conference.  At this time you will be sent more advice on formatting your poster. The maximum size for posters is likely to be B1 (100cm x 70cm).

Conference Meetings: Thursday Morning

There will be three meetings held at the same time, which are:

1. Paediatric Special Interest Group Inaugural Meeting

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Paediatric CFS/ME Special Interest Group will have its inaugural meeting at the conference, chaired by Dr Tim Chambers. This will include a mixture of research and clinical practice  sessions. All are welcome to join.

2. National Network for CFS/ME Therapists AGM

The network membership includes general practitioners, occupational therapists, physicians, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, nurses and psychologists. The Network functions across the Primary/Secondary Care boundary, and across the Paediatric/Adult boundary. The Network is also a stakeholder group in the development of the NICE guidelines for CFS/ME. The network has met once a year for an annual autumn multiprofessional study and information day for several years, and it’s meeting this year is combined with the Collaborative Conference. All are welcome.

3. CFS/ME Champions and Co-ordinators Meeting
This is a closed meeting for the current clinical champions and network coordinators, scheduled following our last meeting in May 2007.

Workshops: Thursday Afternoon

Delegates can choose to attend two out of the following workshops:

Vincent Deary: Using CBT with adults

Dr Esther Crawley: collecting data to understand CFS/ME

Facilitator tbc: implementation of the NICE Guidelines

Dr Hugh Rickards: Depression, anxiety and the problems with differential

Chris Daniels/Rosanne Walton: Innovations in service delivery for severely
affected users

Professor Trudie Chalder and Dr Mary Burgess: Working with adolescents

Friday: Keynote Speaker and Plenary Sessions

Keynote Speaker: Professor Gijs Bleijenberg
Head of the Nijmegen Expert Centre for Chronic Fatigue, Netherlands Cognitive behavioural therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome: the role of pain and the effects of guided self-management.

Dr Brian Marien
The evidence supporting an integrated (mind/body) explanatory model for CFS/ME.

Professor George Davey-Smith
The future of genetic research and CFS/ME

Dr Manny Bagary
Sleep and CFS/ME research

Dr Julia Newton
‘Standing up for Fatigue’: Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction in CFS/ME

Speaker Information and Biographies

Keynote speaker: Professor Gijs Bleijenberg
Clinical psychologist and Head of the Nijmegen Expert Centre for Chronic Fatigue, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands. The Expert Centre for Chronic Fatigue is a multidisciplinary collaboration focussing on the study of chronic fatigue. Furthermore, the ECCF is also a national referral centre for patients with chronic fatigue. About 300 patients a year can be seen for fatigue diagnostics, not only CFS patients but also patients with cancer related fatigueor with fatigue and a chronic disease. About 200 of them are treated with diverse forms of cognitive behavioural therapy.

Professor George Davey-Smith
Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and head of the new MRC centre for genetic research in Bristol University, Director of ALSPAC, and Honorary Consultant with North Bristol NHS Trust, from October 1994. A world leader in epidemiology and genetic epidemiology, George Davey Smith has led the way in discovering which genes are important in traits such as obesity and height. He thinks we can do the same for fatigue and discover some of the important biological pathways for  CFS/ME. Come and find out if this is true!

Dr Julia Newton
Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University.  She is the academic lead of the internationally renowned Cardiovascular Investigation Unit (Falls and Syncope Unit), which is arguably the largest  autonomic nervous system testing laboratory in Europe. She has a reputation in the investigation of autonomic function in the pathogenesis of fatigue with a research programme funded by the MRC, ME Research UK, and Liver North. She  founded and chairs the local multidisciplinary Fatigue Interest Group. The talk will focus on the physiological changes that occur when humans stand, and how autonomic nervous system responses to assuming the upright position may be impaired in those with CFS/ME.

Professor Trudie Chalder
Professor of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy in the Dept. of Psychological Medicine at King’s College London. She has worked as a clinician and a researcher in the area of chronic fatigue syndrome for about 18 years and has in the last decade turned her attention to the needs of adolescents.

Dr Mary Burgess
Works in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research and Treatment Unit at King’s. She is specifically interested in the needs of the severely affected and is currently piloting and evaluating a home based treatment for this group.

Vincent Deary
Is currently MRC Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle conducting research into medically unexplained dysphonia (hoarseness and voice the loss).  He has been researching and treating (so called) medically unexplained symptoms for 12 years and, with Trudie Chalder, has pioneered the use of cognitive behavioural therapy to treat children and adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Rosanne Walton
Acting Head OT with the chronic pain and fatigue management team based at Rayners Hedge in Aylesbury. She was involved in setting up the fatigue component of the team in 1998 and has worked in it since. They run interdisciplinary  chronic fatigue management programmes using a cognitive behavioural therapy approach with graded exercise therapy. They also offer a limited amount of individual outpatient fatigue management. She initially trained as a biologist,  then did an OT degree and has since done a postgraduate diploma in psychology. Rosanna is currently trialling the use of Videophone with people at home. This means the client has a hands-free videophone at their house connected to one in  the hospital.

Chris Daniels
A qualified counsellor and previously the Clinical service Manager for Action for ME, Chris now manages the NHS counselling and information telephone service for Avon Gloucester Wiltshire, and more recently Greater Manchester. This telephone service is targeted at the severely affected. Chris also works as a counsellor in the Bristol CFS/NHS Adult team.

Dr Hugh Rickards
Dr Rickards is a Consultant in Neuropsychiatry who is part of an interdisciplinary neuropsychiatry team based in Birmingham and in the West Midlands. He leads the CFS/ME Service in this region.


The link below (which you need to click on to open) will take you to a Milton Keynes website which lists various hotels in Milton Keynes. Jurys Hotel (the conference venue) is listed/flagged as ‘B’.


Registration Form: Collaborative Conference on CFS/ME 2007

Jurys Hotel, Milton Keynes, Bucks
Thursday 4th and Friday 5th October 2007

Poster: PDF

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