ME Association (MEA)
August 10, 2023
“This interim plan sets out the current problems to be addressed and agreed actions to drive an expansion of research, better education of professionals, improvements in attitudes towards the condition and improvements to service provision. With the right advice, care and adaptations provided by the NHS, social care, education, the welfare system and employers, I am confident that people with ME/CFS can be supported to manage their symptoms as effectively as possible, contribute more to our society and maximise their quality of life. The interim plan is a significant step forward in delivering that vision.”
DHSC Interim Delivery Plan on ME/CFS: Helen Whately, Minister of State for Social Care.
“We know more needs to be done to understand this debilitating illness and to make sure those affected feel heard and understood by the health service and society more widely. To help us ensure this plan is as thorough and considerate of personal experience as possible in its delivery, it’s important that those living the condition, their families, carers and professionals share their views.“
Will Quince, Minister of State for Health.
ME Association Comment
The ME Association welcomes publication of the DHSC Interim Delivery Plan with its emphasis on:
stimulating biomedical research,
including education on ME/CFS for all health profesionals, and
making improvements to the care and management of adults, children and young people with ME/CFS that are based on recommendations in the 2021 NICE Guideline.
We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in producing this interim plan and Sajid Javid MP for initiating it.
The 8-week consultation process acknowledges that there is still work to be done and this should include:
recognising how the symptom and pathological overlaps with Long Covid can be used in research to the benefit of both groups of people.
strengthening the section on severe and very severe ME.
shortening the timeframe for completion for some of the key actions.
We look forward to shortly having a document that will help to improve the lives of everyone with ME/CFS – wherever they live in the UK.
We will produce a more detailed response during the period of consultation.
DHSC: Improving the experiences of people with ME/CFS: interim delivery plan | 09 August 2023
The Times: NHS told to stop blaming ME patients for being ill and improve care | 09 August 2023
Gov.UK: Government announces new plan to help those impacted by ME/CFS | 10 August 2023
Times Educational Supplement Magazine: New guidance on supporting pupils with ME and CFS | 10 August 2023
PULSE: GPs to be given training on ME/CFS to counter ‘dismissive attitudes’ | 10 August 2023
Podcast: The Week Unwrapped (16:40): #340 A new human, ME and date stacking | 11 August 2023
The Times: Sajid Javid promises radical action for patients debilitated by ME | 13 May 2022
Dr Charles Shepherd, Trustee and Hon. Medical Adviser
Ministerial foreword from Helen Whately, Minister of State for Social Care, available from the MEA.
Plus link to -the Government's Open consultation
My full reality: the interim delivery plan on ME/CFS
Published 9 August 2023
Further information from the MEA -
DHSC Interim Delivery Plan on ME/CFS: Public Consultation Information
August 10, 2023
Improving the experiences of people with ME/CFS: interim delivery plan
The Department of Health and Social Care
“The government is committed to supporting all people living with ME/CFS. On 12 May 2022, the government announced an intention to develop an ME/CFS Delivery Plan to improve the experiences and outcomes for people with the condition.
“We are now launching a focused consultation to gather a range of views from the ME/CFS community on the proposed actions in the Interim Delivery Plan to build a picture of how far it addresses the issues most important to them and help us to identify where we need to go further.
“As the consultation survey is specifically targeting those with experience of living or working with ME/CFS, we are hoping to distribute the survey via relevant organisations and networks to reach the most appropriate audience.
“The survey will be available online at the following link and will run for a period of 8 weeks from 9 August 2023 to 4 October 2023:
See this MEA article for - -Frequently Asked Questions
Action for ME (AfME) Announce
Release of pre-consultation Delivery Plan on ME/CFS
August 09, 2023
Today, we welcome the release of the much-anticipated cross-Government interim delivery plan on ME/CFS which is now open for its consultation phase. The Department of Health and Social Care has launched an 8-week consultation to gather a range of views from the ME/CFS community on the proposed actions in the Interim Delivery Plan to build a picture of how far it addresses the issues most important to them and help us to identify where further action may be needed.
The release of the interim plan indicates a clear commitment to take ME/CFS more seriously and ensure lasting change for people with ME/CFS, many of whom have experienced decades of significant difficulties in accessing the support and care needed. We know it doesn’t go far enough to redress all of these issues, but it is a start, and we hope that the short-term actions identified in the Plan lead to commensurate funding for ME/CFS research with other disease areas as well as improved support.
Recent research indicates that at least 40 - 50% of people with long COVID experience similar symptoms to those with ME/CFS and we, including other charities, are seeing the demand for services and support increase significantly as a result.
Welcoming the publication, our CEO, Sonya Chowdhury said:
“I am delighted to see the publication of the Government’s ME/CFS Interim Delivery Plan, which outline further details on action that the Government will seek to secure change in the support and care of children and adults with ME/CFS and accelerate research. Now that the consultation phase has begun, we call on all within the M.E. community to have their voice heard and provide feedback to further strengthen the Plan.
I fully understand the complexities involved in policy development and implementation. However, we hope that the Government will expedite the implementation of the ME/CFS delivery plan post-consultation and prioritise the health and well-being of people with ME/CFS.
This is a positive step forward for people living with ME/CFS but it is only a start; much more is needed. The focus must now shift to delivery and outcomes. I look forward to continuing to work with the DHSC and other departments on the Government’s commitment to better supporting our community by delivering tangible change to ME/CFS policy across the country.”
We encourage you to make sure your voice is heard by completing the short survey by 4 October 2023.
Audio Recordings available from AfME
The DHSC has taken steps to ensure the accessibility of the interim ME/CFS delivery plan by producing audio recordings for each chapter. These recordings can be found on our Action for M.E. SoundCloud.
Further Information from AfME
Interim ME/CFS Delivery Plan: resources to help you respond
August 11, 2023
Following the launch of the much-anticipated cross-Government interim delivery plan on ME/CFS earlier this week, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have been in touch to tell us about the resources they are working on to help you share your view. We are sharing this information below, and will update it as further resources are added.
Information on - Completing the survey - Plus, alternative Versions.
The ME Research UK (MERUK) Announced
Delivery Plan Published - Consultation Opens
10 August 2023
ME Research UK welcomes the release by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) of ‘My full reality: the interim delivery plan on ME/CFS‘.
This document has the potential to deliver concrete benefits to the lives of those affected by ME. In the foreword to the plan, the Minister writes:
This interim plan sets out the current problems to be addressed and agreed actions to drive an expansion of research, better education of professionals, improvements in attitudes towards the condition and improvements to service provision. With the right advice, care and adaptations provided by the NHS, social care, education, the welfare system and employers, I am confident that people with ME/CFS can be supported to manage their symptoms as effectively as possible, contribute more to our society and maximise their quality of life. The interim plan is a significant step forward in delivering that vision.
Unlike previous initiatives (such as the Report to the Chief Medical Officer in 2002 or the Gibson Report in 2007), the interim Delivery Plan has the distinct advantage of its remit spanning numerous government departments including the Department of Works and Pension; the DHSC; and, crucially, central funders of research – the NIHR and MRC – whose constructive involvement will be needed if aspiration is transformed to reality. In addition, the involvement, especially in the research process, of patients as co-chairs of committees has added greatly to deliberations and brough fresh perspectives and impetus.
ME Research UK wishes to thank all those who have contributed to the process thus far, especially the patient community, as the demand upon their time and energy has been great as the scope of the endeavour became apparent. It ought also be remembered that it was made clear that practical support such as secretarial services by the NIHR, MRC and DHSC would be limited in the extreme.
Focus now turns to public consultation and ME Research UK urges all interested parties – especially people with ME, their carers and researchers – to join ME Research UK in submitting their responses to the consultation which closes on 4 October 2023. This is an opportunity to comment, suggest and press for improvements in what is a long document.
The DHSC state that they “will use the information submitted through responses to the survey to develop the Final ME/CFS Delivery Plan for England, which we aim to publish before the end of the year”.
MERUK includes - We have summarised some of the research aspects of the interim delivery plan here
Further Information from MERUK
Research aspects of the DHSC interim delivery plan on ME/CFS
10 August 2023
On Wednesday 9 August 2023, the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) released ‘My Full Reality – the interim delivery plan on ME/CFS‘.
In the words of the foreword, the Interim Delivery Plan “sets out the current problems to be addressed and agreed actions to drive an expansion of research, better education of professionals, improvements in attitudes towards the condition and improvements to service provision”.
We have summarised some of the key aspects with regard to research that were included in the plan. The document starts by setting out four ‘problem statements’:
- There is low capacity and capability among the research community to respond to research needs in this area.
- Historically, there has been low awareness of the need and scope for research into ME/CFS across the health and care research landscape.
- There has been a relatively low amount of biomedical research funded on ME/CFS, compared with disease burden.
- There remains a lack of trust between different stakeholders, including a perception of bias, expressed by patient and carer groups, about prioritisation and the peer-review process when applied to ME/CFS research.
The UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) has established a two year Research Working Group into ME/CFS, bringing together the major stakeholders influencing clinical research in the UK. The Working Group has committed to six ‘rapid actions’ which will “provide the foundation of evidence generation and insight into the medium and long-term actions”. Subgroups have been set up to work towards these actions.
- The DHSC will hold workshops with funders, academics, and people with ME/CFS on how to develop research questions to respond to the Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) Top Ten Plus priorities and initiate new clinical studies.
- The DHSC will work with research funders to commission a landscaping review of national and international work underway in ME/CFS, map PSP research priorities against these and establish evidence gaps.
- The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research will raise awareness of research funding opportunities for researchers and highlight the PSP Top Ten Plus ME/CFS research priorities publicly and with decision making bodies.
- A charity and patient group collaboration will support funders to raise awareness of mechanisms for effective patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) in research, ensuring diversity across protected characteristics, geographical areas and severity and duration of disease.
- The DHSC will support the Research Working group to develop case studies of research which show good practice, including effective PPIE.
- The DHSC will support the Research Working group to engage with the initiatives to educate clinicians/ practitioners about ME/CFS.
The ultimate aims of the interim plan with regard to research are summed up in the following statement:
We will know that the interim plan has delivered the necessary changes when there is greater awareness of the need and scope for research among the research community, so that the research and evidence needs for ME/CFS are recognised and addressed. This will mean that researchers from a wide range of relevant specialisms and disciplines are producing high-quality research, commensurate with disease burden, co-produced with people with personal experience. Research into ME/CFS is exploring diversity and inclusivity in the population, including protected characteristics, disease severity and duration. We will also have a sustainable pipeline of research, the findings of which feed into policy and practice for ME/CFS.
The DHSC is now seeking views on this interim delivery plan, and encourages people to submit their responses by 4 October 2023. This is an opportunity to comment, suggest and press for improvements, as ME Research UK will be doing.
To view Comments/Discussions
Science for ME
Discussions on "UK: UK Government ME/CFS Delivery Plan (includes Attitudes and Education Working Group and Living with ME Working Group)" are available.
Further information -
World M.E. Day Statements
(Including - Health and Social Care Secretary, and MP for Bromsgrove, Sajid Javid.)
Sajid Javid ‘Rethinking ME’ after young relative’s battles
• Action for ME • Government U.K.
• M.E. Association • MERUK
• MP • National Newspapers • N.H.S.