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A Report of the CFS/ME Working Group to the Chief Medical Officer (2002)

In 1998 the Working Group on CFS/ME set out to consider how the NHS might best provide care for people of all ages who have this complex illness. Allen Hutchinson, Chairman of this group, said that the work was approached in two stages. First, to listen to, and to try to understand the patient and carer perspective on the very wide range of issues surrounding the management of the illness. Second, bringtogether knowledge on CFS/ME to support initiatives to improve care for patients. This was an intricate process, drawing on research evidence, the experience of patients and diverse clinical opinion. The Working Group was assisted by a systematic review of the evidence which was commissioned by the Department of Health. Although it was not always possible to resolve some of the differences of view, for perspectives and opinions on some issues ranged widely across the contributors in the Working Group, they were able to bring together a Report which met their briefs of advising on ways of improving care for children, young people and adults with CFS/ME.


The Working Group found that CFS/ME can and should be approached and managed clinically like anyother chronic illness. It can be managed by drawing on evidence and knowledge of what works best for a particular group of patients, and by using the usual generic clinical skills for assessment, therapy and care, adapted to the particulars of the condition and of the individual patient. This Report can be seen as a step in a process of improving care for people with CFS/ME.


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