28 April 2011
Dr David Vickers, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), has written to the Countess of Mar, stating that the RCPCH views CFS/M.E. as a biological illness.
The letter comes after concerns were expressed by a number of charities, including Action for M.E., about RCPCH’s response to NICE last November, when NICE was considering a possible revision of its guidelines (since deferred until August 2013).
The letter from Dr Vickers says:
“The Chief Executive of AYME has forwarded us a copy of your letter of 5 April 2011 to Paul Burstow in which you express concern about the RCPCH response to NICE on their consultation on possible revision of guidelines on CFS/M.E.
“In our response we stated that ‘Regarding the epidemiology of chronic fatigue syndrome: as a psychological illness with physical manifestations, clinical experience suggests that the incidence appears to be falling in children and young people.’
“As our President stated in his latter dated 25 February 2011, RCPCH views CFS/M.E. as a biological illness and continues to stand by its own guidelines issued in 2004.
“I have reviewed our submission to the NICE consultation and can confirm this comment was from one individual who assisted in our response. As such it does not represent RCPCH policy, and in retrospect should not have been included. The phrase ‘as a psychological illness with physical manifestations’ was unhelpful.
“My prime reason for writing is to reassure you RCPCH continues to view this condition as a biological illness, which benefits from expert multidisciplinary management.
“I am aware that these comments have caused some concern, and hope that this letter reassures you that our position has not altered.”