The WHO Somatisation Project: The Elephant in the Room Part Six


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The Elephant in the Room Part Six

The WHO Somatisation Project [CISSD Project]

A call for transparency from Action for ME: Part Six


APA    DSM    DSM-IV    DSM-V    WHO    ICD    ICD-10    ICD-11    American Psychiatric Association    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders    World Health Organization    Classifications    DSM Revision Process    DSM-V Task Force    DSM-V Somatic Distress Disorders Work Group    Somatic Symptom Disorders Work Group    DSM-ICD Harmonization Coordination Group    International Advisory Group    Revision of ICD Mental and Behavioural Disorders    Global Scientific Partnership Coordination Group    ICD Update and Revision Platform    WHO Collaborating Centre    CISSD Project    MUPSS Project    Somatoform    Somatisation    Somatization    Functional Somatic Syndromes    FSS    MUS    Myalgic encephalomyelitis    ME    Chronic fatigue syndrome    CFS    Fibromyalgia    FM    IBS    CS    CI    GWS

[This report may be republished as long as it is republished in its entirety, unchanged and with the author and source acknowledged. Note that embedded links may drop out.]

1] Research provided by “Rozanova”, today, reveals that Sir Hugh Sykes is a Non Executive Director of A4e – Europe’s largest provider of Welfare to Work Programmes.

“A4e’s Job Broker service supports people in receipt of sickness or disability benefit as they look for a job.”


A4e and Pathways to Work: 


Pathways to Work

“Pathways to Work delivers a holistic approach to ensuring that those in receipt of Incapacity Benefit have the support they need to return to work.

“We believe that Pathways to Work can increase your chances of returning to sustainable, progressive employment while providing you with support for your condition through our Condition Management Programme. While you are taking steps to return to work we will ensure that you have access to a one-to-one helpline, as well as face to face  support whatever your barriers to work are.”


Welcome to A4e

“A4e is a successful international business and a market leader in global public service reform. We work with government and the private and third sectors to design, develop and deliver front line public services that benefit individuals, organisations and communities.

“We provide products and services in 7 key areas:

. Welfare to Work
. Programme Management
. Offender Learning and Skills
. Financial Inclusion Education and Advice
. Business and Enterprise
. Workforce Development
. Healthcare”


A4e response to Department for Work and Pension’s commissioning strategy  

A4e, Europe’s largest provider of welfare to work programmes, and a provider of a variety of front line public services, responds to the Department for Work and Pensions’s (DWP’s) commissioning strategy…”


A4e’s Public Sector Partners

“A big thank you to all the organisations who responded to the call for partners for the Jobcentre Plus and LSC ESF tender rounds. The deadline has now passed and all selected partners have been contacted.”


PRESS RELEASE: A4E  APPOINT SIR HUGH SYKES AS NON-EXEC BOARD MEMBER    (No longer available – returns 404 error)

Head Office, Bessemer Road, Sheffield. S9 3XN Tel: + 44 114 220 3040
Fax: + 44114 244 4742

For immediate release 18/08/05

Sheffield-based employment and training provider, A4e, has appointed Sir Hugh Sykes as a non-exec board director.

A4e is one of the UK’s premier organisations in the delivery of social change on behalf of Government, providing services in areas such as employment and training solutions, education and childcare, and business support. With the philosophy `Improving People’s Lives’, A4e champions the disadvantaged and underprivileged members of society, helping thousands of people back into employment every year.

Sir Hugh brings a wealth public and private sector experience to the role.

His distinguished career includes being appointed as Chairman of the Sheffield Development Corporation and, to the Board of National Australia Group Europe – responsible for operating four UK banks, Yorkshire, Clydesdale, Northern and National Irish Banks. 

Sir Hugh’s current public service includes:

Chairman of The Industrial Trust, Director of the British Urban Regeneration Association and Chairman of Renaissance South Yorkshire.

His successful business career is matched by his extensive national and local charity work, including involvements in the Prince’s Youth Business Trust.

Mark Lovell,

CEO A4e comments: “Sir Hugh’s business, charitable and public sector experience in areas such as industry, finance and education will prove invaluable to A4e. We’re delighted to have him on board.”



2] Professor Michael Sharpe: 

On Friday, 6 February I raised a number of queries in relation to the CISSD Project with Professor Michael Sharpe, the Project’s UK Chair.  On Saturday, 7 February, Professor Sharpe responded that he had no knowledge of any grants relating to CISSD and Action for ME and suggested that I contact Dr Richard Sykes, the Project’s Co-ordinator.  Professor Sharpe provided no responses to any of the queries I had raised with him.  The basis on which Action for ME related to this Project and what work has been undertaken by Action for ME in the name of the Project remains unconfirmed.  For points raised see:  The Elephant in the Room Part Five

3] On Saturday, 7 February I wrote to Dr Richard Sykes, Co-ordinator of the CISSD Project and Honorary Member of the WHO Collaborating Centre, Institute of Psychiatry with a request for clarification of the source of the first two grants provided to Action for ME:

From: Suzy Chapman
To: Dr Richard Sykes
Sent: Sunday, February 08, 2009
Subject: Re: In connection with the CISSD (Conceptual Issues in Somatoform and Similar Disorders) Project

Re: In connection with the CISSD (Conceptual Issues in Somatoform and Similar Disorders) Project

Dear Dr Sykes,

I have a query in connection with the CISSD Project.

I have already been in contact with Professors Rachel Jenkins, Kurt Kroenke and Michael Sharpe in the last couple of days, none of whom has been able to answer my queries. Michael Sharpe has suggested that I contact you.

I understand that you are the Co-ordinator of the CISSD Project and an Honorary Member of the WHO Collaborating Centre, Institute of Psychiatry.

The UK national patient organisation, Action for ME, recorded in its 2006, 2007 and 2008 Annual Report and Accounts that the organisation had been in receipt of three grants in relation to the CISSD Project:

A grant of £24,000 recorded for accounting year 05 to 06

A second grant for £18,750 recorded for accounting year 06 to 07

A third grant for £20,000 recorded for accounting year 07 to 08

The only information that Action for ME has published in relation to its involvement with this Project is as follows (taken from its year end 31 March Annual Reports and Accounts for 06, 07 and 08):

“WHO Somatisation Project. This grant is provided to help lobby the World Health Organisation for the recognition of M.E. and its recategorisation as a physical illness. This grant ceased in March 2007.” [Source of grant unspecified]

“CISSD Project This grant, from the Hugh and Ruby Sykes Charitable Trust is provided to disseminate the findings of the WHO Somatisation Project whose research came to an end in 2006. The aim is to produce a number of recommendations which, if accepted by the World Health Organisation, would be of direct benefit to people with M.E.”

But the source of the first two grants remains unclear.

Professor Kroenke has told me that he had nothing to do with the finances of the Project and he wasn’t able to provide me with information about the source of the first two grants.

I would be grateful if you could confirm, please:

Were these two grants in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 provided to Action for ME by the WHO, Geneva?

Or was this funding provided to Action for ME by the WHO Collaborating Centre?

Or was this funding provided to Action for ME by another organisation, body, agency or institution, and if so, what was the source of the first two grants?



I shall update when I have received a response from Dr Sykes.  With thanks to Rozanova for providing the A4e links.

The URL for this posting is:

The Elephant in the Room Part Six:


For previous postings:

The Elephant in the Room Part One:

The Elephant in the Room Part Two:

The Elephant in the Room Part Three:

The Elephant in the Room Part Four:

The Elephant in the Room Part Five:

Published: 08.02.09