MEA writes to the Daily Telegraph about NICE
RE: ‘Doctor’s Diary’ – Monday 19 November 2007
NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) clearly have a difficult job to do but as Dr James le Fanu correctly points out they are making a complete mess of trying to help people with ME/CFS.
The problem lies with the way in which a misguided medical profession decided to rename and redefine ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome). In doing so they have created a spectrum of illnesses ranging from those who have a recognised neurological condition to those who have a type of chronic fatigue that is indistinguishable from a psychiatric illness.
For NICE to then conclude that everyone under the umbrella of ME/CFS should be automatically offered cognitive behavioural therapy and/or graded exercise therapy – treatments which patients often report are ineffective, or may even make them feel worse – makes no practical or economic sense at all.
No wonder NICE is once again being challenged in the courts and in parliament.
Dr Charles Shepherd
Hon Medical Adviser, ME Association
4 Top Angel
NB: The ‘Doctor’s Diary’ item by Dr James le Fanu can be viewed on the MEA website at: http://www.meassociation.org.uk