2 April, 2012
The following answer has been given to a written question in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Mr Spratt asked the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety what treatments and
services are available to people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.(AQW 10000/11-15)
Mr Poots answered, "The variability of symptoms in patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis(ME)/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) mean that they will need to access different parts of the health service, depending on their specific symptoms and the severity of their condition.
"The focus on treatment is therefore centred on close co-operation between patients, carers and the relevant health and social care professionals, which is essential to ensure that sufferers obtain the most suitable treatment for their particular needs.
"In Northern Ireland treatment, for the most part, is provided by general practitioners; however patients have access to a wide range of treatment and support services in primary, secondary and community care settings, including specialist medical, neurology and mental health services, depending on their individual needs.
"Any proposals for new service developments or allocation of resources is a matter for the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), as commissioner of services, to consider.
To date the HSCB has established a commissioning team which will deal with, amongst other things, ME/CFS. I am aware that this team has already met with a number of ME/CFS service user representatives and discussed possible areas for service improvement."
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