The Countess of Mar tabled a written question that asked the Government to ensure that children with M.E. get effective access to diagnosis and treatment and are supported in their right to education in the light of the findings of Dr Esther Crawley that unidentified ME/CFS is a major cause of school absence.
In a written answer on 17 May 2012, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health Earl Howe replied.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published a clinical guideline on the diagnosis and management of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyeltis (CFS/ME), which provides evidence-based recommendations offering a choice of care options tailored around an individual's needs. Where appropriate, primary care trusts and clinicians are expected to follow this guideline.
The guideline addresses the diagnosis, treatment and management of CFS/ME in adults and in children aged five years and older, in primary and secondary care and in specialist centres and teams. The guideline is also relevant to the work of occupational health services, social services, educational services and the voluntary sector, although it does not make recommendations for them directly.
The introduction of health and well-being boards will bring together the National Health Service, social care, public health and children's services to ensure that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities receive the support they need. Additionally, the Children and Families Bill will include measures to improve provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
To read the research paper with which Dr Crawley was involved, please click HERE.