A question asking the Secretary of State for Health what consideration his Department has given to national commissioning of treatment for patients diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis was tabled by Mark Lancaster (Conservative MP for Milton Keynes North).
In a written answer provided on 3 November, Minister for Care Services Paul Burstow replied:
No decisions have been taken on which specific services will be directly commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board. The Health and Social Care Bill proposes that the NHS Commissioning Board should take responsibility for commissioning specialised services for people with rare conditions from April 2013. Clinical Commissioning Groups will commission most other services on behalf of patients.
Epidemiological data suggests a population prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) of at least 0.2 to 0.4%. This means that services for people with CFS/ME are not rare enough to fall within existing specialised commissioning arrangements for rare conditions.