Letter in The Independent on Sunday | 2 December 2012

Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME is a debilitating condition affecting some 1 per cent of the UK population (“ME: bitterest row yet in a long saga”, 25 November). This serious illness needs improved treatments and care, and research is central to making this happen. So it is with sadness that we read in The Independent on Sunday reports of allegations made against Simon Wessely, one of the few UK clinicians with a specialist interest in treating CFS/ME and someone who has done pioneering research in the field. Such harassment risks undermining research, preventing the development of new treatments and discouraging specialist clinicians from entering the field. We fear that this may have resulted in patients not receiving the best treatments or care – staying ill for longer and not being able to live life to the full.

Dr Esther Crawley
University of Bristol

Professor Michael Sharpe, University of Oxford

Professor Peter White, Queen Mary University of London

Dr Esther Crawley, Reader in Child Health, University of Bristol

Professor Stephen Holgate CBE, MRC Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology, University of Southampton

Professor Rona Moss-Morris, Head of Health Psychology, King’s College London

Dr Charlotte Feinmann, Reader, UCL

Professor Hugo Critchley, Chair in Psychiatry, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Dr Brian Angus, Reader in Infectious Diseases, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

Dr Steven Reid, Clinical Director for Psychological Medicine, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Patrick Doherty, Professor of Rehabilitation, York St John University

Professor Paul Little, Professor of Primary Care Research, University of Southampton

Dr Maurice Murphy, HIV Consultant, Barts Health NHS Trust

Professor Tim Peto, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair, Public Health Wales, Cardiff University

Dr Alastair Miller, Consultant Physician, Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Professor Diane Cox, Professor of Occupational Therapy, University of Cumbria

Professor Jonathan Sterne, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Bristol

Dr Margaret May, Reader in Medical Statistics, University of Bristol

Professor George Davey-Smith, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Bristol

Dr Jade Thai, Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol

Dr Gabrielle Murphy, Clinical Lead Physician, Fatigue Service, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Hazel O’Dowd, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and CFS/ME Team Leader, Frenchay Hospital Bristol

Dr Brian Marien, Director, Positive Health

Professor Willie Hamilton, Professor of Primary Care Diagnostics, University of Exeter

Dr Selwyn Richards, Consultant Rheumatologist, Poole Hospital NHS Trust

Professor Alison Wearden, Professor of Health Psychology, University of Manchester

Professor Trudie Chalder, Department of Psychological Medicine, King’s College London.

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