In the last issue of our ME Essential quarterly magazine, among a number of stories about ME/CFS services round the UK, we carried the following information: “….the ME/CFS service run for several years by Dr Gabrielle Murphy at the Royal Free Hospital in London has been withdrawn – after Primary Care Trusts, including Haringey, stopped referring patients there. The ME Association has received several inquiries from patients who are asking us where else they can go.”
The communications manager for the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, Soraya Madell, has this morning issued the following clarification:
“The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust is pleased to have this opportunity to respond to reports that the fatigue service at the Royal Free Hospital is to close.
“This service continues to operate as normal with respect to diagnosis and medical follow up for CFS/ME.
“Primary care trusts (PCTs) within the North Central Sector of London are reviewing their funding arrangements for therapy for CFS/ME.
“Some PCTs are continuing to fund therapy on the basis of individual applications; others have requested that after diagnosis, the GP refers the patient to the local rehabilitation and/or mental health team in the community.
“The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust is negotiating an arrangement with PCTs across the North Central Sector whereby funding for therapy for CFS/ME, provided by the team at the Royal Free Hospital, and preferably in collaboration with local teams, would be agreed in principle, with no need to submit applications on an individual basis.
“These negotiations are ongoing and we look forward to a positive decision at the end of May 2010. In the meantime, the Royal Free Hospital will continue to provide a service for this deserving cohort of patients.”
The ME Association are keen to hear from anyone who has had problems with accessing this service or access to management following diagnosis.
We will be following up the statement in this announcement relating to referral to a mental health service following diagnosis:
“Some PCTs are continuing to fund therapy on the basis of individual applications; others have requested that after diagnosis, the GP refers the patient to the local rehabilitation and/or mental health team in the community.Please contact The MEA through the ME Connect email service: firstname.lastname@example.org