A charity that supports people with ME/CFS has said recent updates on the Manx Care integrated service with Long Covid gives its members ‘much-needed hope’.
Health Minister Lawrie Hooper told Tynwald on Tuesday that the ME/CFS and Long Covid service would be ‘up and running from July of this year’.
It cost the government in the region of £400,000 to create the service that is aimed to support clinicians across the care sector in delivering ‘informative advice as well as providing those dealing with post-viral symptoms a non-judgemental service’.
“The ME Association has been very encouraged by the work being completed on the Isle of Man to establish an ME/CFS and Long Covid specialist service with a medical lead and experienced allied health professionals.
“In our discussions with the NHS on the mainland – before and after publication of the much-improved 2021 NICE Clinical Guideline – we have held up the Island's development as a gold-standard example of how patients, politicians and healthcare providers can all work together to achieve a successful outcome for some of the most disabled people in society.
“We hope that NHS primary and secondary care services in the UK will all embrace the new guideline, and that existing services will be improved, and new services commissioned so that anyone suspected of having ME/CFS or Long Covid can be diagnosed promptly and managed effectively by providing carefully tailored ongoing support. These referral services are vital and will help hundreds of thousands of people across the UK.
“Last week, Sajid Javid, the UK’s Secretary for Health and Social Care, committed the Government to supporting people with ME/CFS and to providing much-needed research investment. NICE also produced an implementation statement that provides guidance to the NHS and commissioners about how important the Guideline is and how it should be supported. These two announcements have provided additional hope to all those affected by this devastating neurological condition.
“We would like to praise the hard work from ME Support (IOM) and its patient volunteers. Without their unwavering commitment, the ME/CFS and Long Covid specialist service would not be almost ready to receive its first referrals. We’d also like to thank the Manx Government and those ME/CFS specialists working for the NHS in the UK who gave their professional time to advise on this project.
“It has been a privilege to work with them all and we are incredibly heartened at the developments now taking place.”Russell Fleming, communications manager at ME Association