Parliamentary Question | British Army Health Questionnaire categorisation of ME/CFS | 24 July 2012

The Countess of Mar tabled a question that asked the Government why the Ministry of Defence categorises ME/CFS as a psychiatric or mental health disorder on the British Army Health Questionnaire (RG Form 8), when the World Health Organisation ICD 10 categorises it is a neurological condition under G93.3 and the UK Department of Health has confirmed that there is no other ICD category for the condition.

On 24 July 2012, Lord Astor of Hever (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence) replied:

The current version of the British Army Health Questionnaire, Recruiting Group Form 8 (RG 8), which has been in use by applicants to the regular Army since 2008, does not assign categories to any medical condition but instead lists conditions which are then verified by the applicant’s GP.

However, until recently, applicants to the Territorial Army (TA) completed an older, self-certified version of the RG 8 (dated 2004), which categorised chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis as a psychiatric or mental disorder. This was consistent with advice in place from the World Health Organisation International Classification of Diseases, which allowed clinicians to categorise patients who came under the broad category of chronic fatigue syndrome, under either psychiatry or neurology.

This older version of RG 8 has now been withdrawn and since April 2012 all TA applicants, like their regular counterparts, now complete the current RG 8 version dated 2008.

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