28 April 2011
Action for M.E. has been contacted by several people with M.E. to express their concern that the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome service at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, Essex is under threat of closure.
It has now been drawn to our attention that the decision to close the service already seems to have been made.
The news is of national concern because there are virtually no other specialist inpatient services available in the UK and patients from other primary care trusts have up to now been referred to Romford inpatient care.
Action for M.E. CEO Sir Peter Spencer has written to the Romford Recorder to defend the service publically.
He will be writing to Averil Dongworth, Chief Executive, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, challenging any premature decision making and pressing for a credible and transparent consultation exercise before any decision is made.
Sir Peter will also write to the Minister of Health Paul Burstow highlighting the consequences of losing this valuable national asset.
Denise Webb, recent patient of the Queens CFS service, says: “I hope that this centre of excellence will not be closed down or reduced in scope. It is very difficult to get organised, multidisciplinary help for this condition. CFS is not a visible illness. It is incapacitating to a degree that most people, including the medical profession, fail to understand.”
A former patient of the Queens CFS service says: “With the research base on severe CFS/ME so very weak, there is no UK substitute for Queens CFS unit’s experience with severe CFS/ME. The Queens’ unit is all there is. If it were disbanded, the person with severe CFS/ME would have no equivalent at all, anywhere in the UK.”
If you have any comments about the review of the CFS service at Queen’s Hospital you can email or write to Consultation, 1st Floor, Trust Offices, at the address above by 9 May.