South East Medical Conference

Nearly 250 people packed the Banqueting suite of Hove Town Hall on September 26th to hear Sussex and Kent doctors speaking about the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome known as ME. Hospital consultant, Dr Keith Hine headed the medical line-up that included paediatrician, Dr Kamal Patel, nutritionist, Dr Alan Stewart, psychologist, Dr Mario Vagara-Williamson and Dr Mike Broughton from the Sussex CFS/ME Service based at Burgess Hill. Top neurologist Professor Leslie Findley from Essex gave the main presentation and Brighton MP, Des Turner spoke as chairman of the Parliamentary group on ME/CFS at Westminster. George Armstrong represented Action for ME (AfME) and the Association of Young people with ME (AYME) that officially endorsed the event.

Representatives of the Sussex and Kent NHS specialist CFS/ME teams and several GPs, nurses and social workers were there along with representatives of the local Primary Care Trusts and education authorities.

During the event there was a debate about the effectiveness of the Lightning Process that is an alternative approach that is helping some with the illness quite dramatically.

Colin Barton said: “There was a wonderfully positive atmosphere at the venue and the commitment of many knowledgably doctors working with ME/CFS Patients daily was very evident throughout.” “What is needed now is for the Primary Care Trusts to commit further funding to help the developing NHS specialist services that are struggling to cope with the enormous number of referrals that they have received since becoming operational in 2005.