Fearghal McKinney, SDLP Assembly Member for South Belfast, tabled a question that asked the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety whether the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome clinic in Belfast City Hospital has closed.
It was answered today by the Minister, Jim Wells, who replied:
The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust did not provide a commissioned service for CFS/ME patients. A non-commissioned CFS/ME clinic was offered by Dr Welby Henry in Belfast City Hospital from approximately 1986 until his retirement in early 2014. This clinic was provided on a ‘special interest’ basis.
Following Dr Henry’s retirement, there were no staff with sufficient expertise to continue providing a CFS/ME clinic on this basis.
The Trust now provides an occupational therapist service for patients with a definitive diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from GPs in line with NICE guidelines.