Calls for more services for patients with ME – April

Sussex Argus 22/4 – A support group is backing calls for investment in specialist services for people affected by ME. Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas has written to department of Health ministers and the national Institute for Health and clinical Excellence (NICE) pressing for more support for patients. Ms Lucas is patron of the Sussex & Kent ME Society, which helps people with the condition across the counties. There are a number of specialist NHS centres across Britain including in Haywards Heath, which are staffed by doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists. The Haywards Heath service deals with around 480 new referrals a year. It has seen almost 5,000 patients since it was established in 2005. The society says there is a need for further funding to expand these vital services. Society chairman Colin Barton said: “There is no doubt that treatment is best delivered within the context of specialist services. “We appreciate the NHS is under financial constraint. However specialist services for ME benefit a large number of patients in a young economically active age group and therefore should protected and expanded.”