Brief encounter in the Lords on ME/CFS and eating disorders | 11 July 2013

Brief exchange during health questions in the House of Lords on 11 July 2013. Health minister Lord Howe was taking questions on the anorexia and bulimia nervosa eating disorders.

The Countess of Mar (Crossbench)

My Lords, I am sure that the noble Earl accepts that some young girls have an eating disorder that is not anorexia or bulimia — they may have CFS/ME or reactions to HPV vaccines. Very often, they are incarcerated in mental hospitals when they should receive a different form of treatment. I have spoken to the noble Earl about this but perhaps he could say what progress is being made in ensuring that such young people are not mistreated?

Earl Howe (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Quality), Health; Conservative)

My Lords, I am sure that this is an area that NICE will need to look at when it refreshes its guidance to the clinical community. The noble Countess is absolutely right to raise the issue. CFS/ME can often be misdiagnosed; it can be mistaken for other conditions without proper differential diagnosis having taken place. We know that there is more work to be done in this area. However, the range of programmes now available to GPs, some of which I have referred to, can be helpful in this area.

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