London Evening Standard Breaks Judicial Review Story
Disgraceful Yuppie Flu Sting In Tail
Yesterday, The One Click Group and selected ME organisations were approached by the London Evening Standard newspaper over the Judicial Review of the CFS/ME NICE Guidelines. One Click did not issue any press release, nor did we seek this coverage out at this stage in the legal process.
It is extraordinarily difficult to get good and proper media coverage for ME/CFS without getting precisely this Yuppie Flu sting in the tail that we see in the Evening Standard before us today.
Please note that if the Judicial Review goes to court, One Click will not have any control over editorial coverage and nor will anyone else. The media will write what they like about this. For our part, it is our job – all of us – to be unfailingly polite and to provide the facts and the evidence. Over and over and over again until at last and finally, they sink in.
If the media chooses to deliberately Yuppie Flu title a piece in this way that will upset every single patient suffering from ME/CFS right around the world no matter what else the piece may say, there is only one way that we can comprehensively prevent this: by taking NICE to court via Judicial Review so that the Yuppie Flu tag gets buried forever.
One of the excellent facilities of The One Click Group website is that we are in a position to correct any media factual inaccuracies by publishing the corrections here and sending them on to the respective News Desks ourselves. This we shall now do. We are both a reactive and interactive raw news hub. Information with us is a multi-way process.
One Click does not consist of ‘Yuppie Flu Campaigners’ nor have we ever been so ridiculous as to describe ourselves as such. This is yet another media invention. This is incorrect, entirely misleading and wrong. It is a very great shame that the Evening Standard has sought to attempt to further stigmatise patients by repeating this again at this critical Judicial Review time and is entirely counterproductive.
For media information, we suggest that you refer to the document here What is ME – What is CFS. Another good reference guide is The One Click Response – CFS/ME Draft NICE Guidelines. This lists many of the illnesses that are shoved under the ME/CFS umbrella such as cancer, Multiple Sclerosis et al just because ME/CFS is an easy box to tick and simple label to append. For an excellent source of ME/CFS information, we also refer the media to the website of Dr Sarah Myhill, where you will find a mine of medical information.
The World Health Organisation classifies ME/CFS as a neurological illness (WHO ICD-10 G93.3) and this is accepted by the Department of Health. The United Kingdom government is signatory to the WHO rubric and therefore must abide by this, as should the media if they wish to be factually correct and taken in any way seriously by those knowledgeable in this field.
In the interests of cooperation and goodwill, One Click would like to thank the Evening Standard for their interest in this story to date, even though this was not arranged by us. We hope that the terrestrial media elects to bury its Yuppie Flu mistakes in the future by simple expedient of reference to the evidence and the facts that we will always be most happy to provide, as will others. We will also be most happy to correct media mistakes should they occur, as in this case.
We look forward to attempting to challenge the CFS/ME NICE Guidelines through the courts by Judicial Review.
London Evening Standard
Yuppie flu campaigners fight ‘mental illness’ label
Thursday 15 November 2007
“YUPPIE FLU” campaigners are going to court to try to force the Government’s health watchdog to stop defining it as a psychiatric illness.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) could have to rewrite its new guidelines on chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME.
A pressure group is taking High Court action in what is understood to be the first case of its kind. The One Click Group, which has 8,000 online supporters worldwide, is challenging Nice’s treatment advice on the grounds that it labels sufferers as mentally ill.
Nice told doctors in August this year that they should prescribe psychological therapy and “graded” exercise for ME patients.
But Jane Bryant, director of One Click, said
Nice ignored studies that show ME is a recognised medical condition and not a psychiatric illness. Ms Bryant’s son Ben, 13, was diagnosed with a form of ME six years ago.
The former public relations manager from London said: “This is going to be a David against Goliath case. The guidelines have excluded the majority of the medical evidence which proves that ME is a physical not a psychological illness. They (Nice) haven’t listened to the patients.”
ME is estimated to affect a quarter of a million people in Britain, especially children. Symptoms include poor quality sleep, headaches and bouts of infections.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) is carrying out two large clinical trails into the effectiveness of treatments at a cost of £2.5 million.
The medical profession is fiercely divided over the exact cause. Some experts are sceptical that ME is a specific illness and say the symptoms are caused by mental health problems.
Others say that it is caused by a virus and that the type of exercise recommended by Nice can even make the illness worse. It is understood to be the first time that Nice has faced court action over its own health guidance.
Earlier this year, drug companies lost a case against Nice over its refusal to fund lifesaving dementia drugs.
The One Click Group is being represented by Saunders solicitors which is expected to lodge court papers next Wednesday for the judicial review.
Dr Charles Sheppard [sic] of the ME Association said: “The Nice guideline is seriously flawed because they take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to an illness which manifests itself in many different ways. There is no evidence that sufferers do benefit from psychological therapies.”
Dr Neil Abbot from ME Research UK said: ‘There is undue emphasis in the final Nice guideline on psycho-social strategies.”
Thu, November 15th, 2007. 03:15 pm