This is a copy of an email sent by The ME Association this afternoon to Frances Done, Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Board, about an article called ‘Offenders or victims' which appears in the February issue of ‘Magistrate' magazine.
To: Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Board
Dear Frances Done
Re ‘Offenders or victims?' – feature in Magistrate magazine dated February 2008 (pages 42 – 43)
There is a serious error in the box on p43 labelled ‘Definition of Terms'. The error is referenced to a publication produced by the Youth Justice Board: ‘Mental Health: Key Elements of Effective Practice'.
Under ‘Mental Disorders' bullet point 8 lists chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), often called ME, under somatic disorders and states that it is one of a list of ‘…mental health problems that satisfy the diagnostic criteria of ICD-10, an internationally recognised system (ICD-10 refers to the World Health Organisation International Classification of Diseases).
The information about the ICD classification of ME/CFS in this box is incorrect.
ME is unambiguously classified in section G93.3 of ICD10 as a neurological disorder. CFS is indexed to this neurological classification. Furthermore, this classification is fully recognised by the Department of Health.
I am sure you will appreciate how disastrous the consequences can be if someone is labelled under the law as having a mental health disorder when this is not the case.
Please could you therefore take urgent action to make sure that this error is corrected in both electronic and paper documents produced by the Youth Justice Board, as well as arranging for a correction to appear in Magistrate.
Dr Charles Shepherd
Medical Adviser, ME Association
4 Top Angel
Buckingham MK18 1TH