Welsh Long Covid NHS Services expanded for ME/CFS

Welsh Long Covid NHS Services expanded for ME/CFS

The Welsh Government announced new funding for Long Covid services that will be extended to accommodate others with long term conditions including ME/CFS.

Annual funding will increase to £8.3 million for Adferiad (Recovery) services. The community based rehabilitation services will continue to and support people with long COVID but they will also be expanded to people with other long term conditions whose rehabilitation and recovery are similar- for example, people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia and other post-viral associated conditions.

Below are some comments from two of the groups in Wales.

The Welsh Association of ME & CFS Support (WAMES) 

“People in Wales, and further afield, have been expressing concern about plans to place ME/CFS services in existing Long COVID services. The Health Minister announced on the 14th March that there would be additional funding to widen access to Adferiad (Recovery) services to: 

“…better support people with conditions such as ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia to get a diagnosis, manage their symptoms and access rehabilitation services.” 

“It is important to know that the Adferiad Recovery programme set up by substance abuse and mental health charities is NOT the same as the Welsh Government Adferiad (Recovery) programme for Long COVID. Each Health Board has set up a long COVID service based on common goals of the Adferiad programme which has been assessed regularly… 

“We have been assured many times over the years by the Welsh Government and Health Boards that there is NO money for dedicated services. It was also clear that there had also been little will within NHS Wales to champion appropriate services for ME.  

“Whether we like it or not long COVID has shone a light on ME and many with long COVID also meet the ME criteria, boosting numbers considerably and therefore adding to the need for services. [Research suggests 40 – 54% of people with long COVID have developed ME/CFS.] 

“There is an overlap in both symptoms and underlying dysfunction in ME/CFS, long COVID and Fibromyalgia. WAMES believes that people with ME triggered by COVID deserve a better service, just as people whose ME is triggered by other viruses and causes deserve to be recognised and offered services…” 

The Welsh Association of ME & CFS Support (WAMES). 

Welsh Association of ME & CFS Support Logo

ME Support in Glamorgan (MESiG) 

“We are deeply concerned by the latest statement from the Health Minister that ME/CFS patients in Wales will be referred to Long Covid clinics. These clinics are staffed by psychologists and physios, which is not adhering to the NICE guidelines. From experience we know the danger for persons with ME to be offered inaccurate treatment that causes deterioration instead of recovery. Some of our members over the years have been involved in various groups to speak up for ME/CFS patients and the pathway that is needed, with the correct use of the guidelines.” 

Miriam Wood, Political Liaison Officer, ME Support in Glamorgan (MESiG). 

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