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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Tuesday, January 20, 2004


Services will reduce 'postcode lottery' in access to vital support and treatment

The Government today continued its drive towards ending postcode lotteries of care in the NHS through the announcement of new centres and local support teams for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME).

Funded by the £8.5 million cash injection announced last year, the 12 centres will be based in Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham/West Midlands, East Midlands, East Anglia, North London (St Bartholomew's), Surrey (Sutton), Bath/Bristol and Cornwall/Devon. The Centres and Local Teams will champion and support the development of local services to improve the care and treatment of the many people with CFS/ME.

Led by Clinical Champions (local CFS/ME specialists), the centres will improve the overall care of patients with CFS/ME by:

- Providing access to specialist assessment, diagnosis and advice on treating the condition

- Developing education and training resources for health professionals to improve the knowledge and skills of staff

- Supporting clinical research into the causes and treatment of

28 local support teams spread throughout the country, will provide support to those adjusting to and coping with CFS/ME by:

- Providing specialist rehabilitation programmes for patients to help increase energy and activity levels

- Developing a network of local domiciliary services (health, education and social services) for those more severely affected who may be house-bound or bed-bound

- Supporting GPs and other health professionals and in partnership with local self- help groups develop expert patient and self-management initiatives

Health Minister Stephen Ladyman said:

"CFS/ME is a debilitating and distressing condition that affects people of all ages. As the causes are still not fully understood, it is also a condition that poses a challenge to medicine and the NHS. These new centres and local teams mean that we can start developing focused, local services that will make a real difference to people's lives.


The support, empathy and understanding of health professionals is an important factor in the care of people with this condition. The education and training provided by the centres will be invaluable in providing health professionals with the information they need to help their patients."

Meg Munn, Labour and Co-operative MP for Sheffield Heeley said

“I am really pleased with the news that Sheffield is to have its own treatment centre for sufferers of ME and CSF. I have been approached several times over the last two years by local people who have been disappointed with the level of service provision.

What is going to make a real difference is the three-pronged approach to dealing with these debilitating illnesses; there will treatment, support and the all-important clinical research into both their causes and the best treatment. Ten years ago it was hard to get a GP even to recognise that such an illness existed, now this Government is putting millions into helping people understand more and ultimately get better.”


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