Scottish Good Practice Statement – an update

November 14, 2009

A special meeting of the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on ME  was held on 6 May to discuss the Scottish Good Practice Statement on ME/CFS. Dr Gregor Purdie agreed to significant changes. A proof copy of the revised version was made for the event in the Scottish Parliament on 14 May, on the understanding that the document would need to go through a further stage of peer review by healthcare professionals.

The professional peer review is being taken forward under the chairmanship of Professor Lewis Ritchie, Mackenzie Chair of General Practice, University of Aberdeen, drawing on his extensive experience in developing clinical guidelines under the auspices of the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN).

At a meeting on 9 September chaired by Professor Ritchie – which involved Dr Purdie, representatives of the Health Directorates, Action for M.E., the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Scotland and the Scottish Neuroscience Council (SNC) – it was agreed to set up two workstreams:

1. One, led by Dr Alan Carson, SNC – and involving Dr Purdie � is peer reviewing and refining the draft Quick Reference Guide (or laminate') which Dr Purdie produced from the May 2009 document.

This is aimed at GPs and other healthcare professionals, and will be in the concise format with which GPs and others are familiar from SIGN Guidelines.  It will include an algorithm covering, on one side of A4, presentation, diagnosis and the pathway of care.  It is intended that this document, once finalised, would be issued to all GPs in Scotland to help ensure that they are provided with the practical guidance they need.

2. The second, led by Dr Purdie, will produce a short Guide for Patients, in line with the SIGN approach. Dr Purdie's work will be facilitated by Action for M.E., and supported by Liz Blackadder and Ewan Dale, who have first hand experience of living with ME. This group have met and a draft is underway.

The Quick Reference Guide and Guide for Patients should be ready in the Spring.

Once both documents have been reviewed, Professor Ritchie will convene a reference group to look again at the May 2009 version of the Statement, to make sure there is consistency across all three documents. The next version of the full Statement will then be made available as a web-based resource for professionals and lay people alike.

It will be essential to ensure that this further work is consistent with the recommendations in the final version of the Scottish Public Health Network's Needs Assessment, once that is available, and with the way in which the NHS Quality Improvement Scotland clinical standards for generic neurological conditions are likely to shape neurological services in future.

Once the work is completed, consideration is being given to holding a series of training roadshows,' (workshops in different NHS Boards) in order to make as many healthcare professionals as possible aware of the documents.


This statement appeared on the Action for ME website on 12 November 2009.

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