We have just received some disappointing information from the ME/CFS specialist service at Queens Hospital, Romford, Essex:
“The specialist myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) service from Neurology is closing and appointments to newly referred patients are no longer being offered.
“As background information, Amelia Goldsmith-Lister, Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist, is retiring next year. We have closed the clinic to new referrals although we will be offering follow up appointments until March 2022, after which the service will close completely.”
- The Queen’s Hospital, Romford, ME/CFS Specialist Service website doesn’t yet carry this information.
It is concerning given that people in this catchment area will no longer have a secondary care service to which they might be referred, more so in light of the new NICE clinical guideline for ME/CFS that specifically recommends the availability of such services to support patients who need help obtaining a diagnosis, to live with the condition, or with ongoing management.
We do not know whether people who are already under the care of the Romford service will be transferred, if any arrangements are being made with other referral services to take any of these patients, or what GPs in the area have been told in regard to making necessary referrals in the future.
We have written to Queens Hospital and will update this announcement if we receive any further information.
- You can locate any ME/CFS specialist service in your area by visiting the ME Association website page and entering your postcode or location.
Dr Abhijit Chaudhuri, consultant neurologist at the Romford specialist service, will also be reducing his clinical work.
He has an increasing demand on his time as the new Chair of the Specialty Certificate Exam Board in Neurology of the Federation of Royal Colleges.
Abhijit will be concentrating on multiple sclerosis as the only specialist secondary care service from now on.
“It's a real shame that I shall be leaving ME/CFS after 25 years of active involvement since I first started working with the late Professor Peter Behan in Glasgow – where I came to know you.
“Sadly, there is no successor in neurology who has a declared interest in ME/CFS or even chronic fatigue in neurological disorders. It has been a great privilege on my part to join you in working on the preparation of the ME Association Clinical and Research Guide (The ‘Purple Book’).
“With very best wishes,Dr Abhijit Chaudhuri (in a message to Dr Shepherd)