CFS/ME Services in Bedfordshire

The Bedfordshire and Luton Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) Service is a pilot service established in April 2013 providing multi-disciplinary assessment, diagnosis and treatment for people experiencing medically unexplained fatigue as their main symptom.  Our team consists of:

  • a consultant physician
  • a cognitive behavioural therapist
  • an occupational therapist/service coordinator
  • a physiotherapist
  • a chronic fatigue wellbeing practitioner
  • an assistant psychologist
  • a psychologist
  • a service manager

We aim to provide a comprehensive local service that delivers evidence based treatments, adheres to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance for CFS and coordinates with other agencies required to meet the service users' needs.

New patients attend for assessment on Thursdays.

The venue for the service is:

The Disability Resource Centre
Poynters House
Poynters Road
Dunstable, Bedfordshire
LU5 4TP

The service aims to:

  • Provide or confirm a diagnosis of CFS / ME.
  • Assess individuals to establish whether their emotional and functional coping skills could be enhanced through treatment.
  • Provide care planning and coordination of care.
  • Provide group and individual treatments to improve coping and psychosocial adjustment to enhance quality of life, improve independence, and assist patients with staying in or re-entering work.
  • Offer consultation to GPs and other professionals on the psychosocial aspects of fatigue.
  • Promote the importance of self-management and perceived self-efficacy from early in the patient's illness.

Treatment

NICE recommends Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as treatments of choice for chronic fatigue syndrome. This is based on the available evidence to date from randomised controlled research trials (RCT's). There may be lots of other recommendations which can be found online or from other sources, but for now, these are the only treatments with enough evidence behind them to warrant the NHS providing them.  Our team may recommend a combination of both recommended treatments or a course of either one. A course of treatment is typically 12-20 sessions. 

Prior to participation in graded exercise therapy a full assessment will be undertaken by our physiotherapist. 

In addition to these treatments, where appropriate, our occupational therapist will carry out an assessment of individuals' functional ability in relation to their self-care, home and work environments; offering practical advice and interventions to improve daily function and support individuals to work towards their goals.  Occupational interventions may include work rehabilitation, improving community access and increasing leisure/social activities.

If there are any needs that fall outside of our treatment capabilities we coordinate referral to the appropriate services, in order to offer individuals a streamlined service.  We are continuing to work on building links with other service providers, and already work closely with agencies that offer nutritional and financial advice.

The service is provided for adult patients (16+) who have already been diagnosed with CFS / ME or have a suspected diagnosis of CFS / ME.

This service does not include pain management treatment.  These patients should be referred to the Pain Management Clinics.



Last updated: 05/02/2014

Update due: 05/02/2015