Sir Professor Simon Wessely, M.A., M.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.P., M.R.C.Psych., is a British psychiatrist based at King's College London and is President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  He became Director of the Chronic Fatigue Research Unit at King's College London in 1994, setting up a clinic for chronic fatigue syndrome at Maudsley Hospital, a psychiatric hospital.
Professor Wessely has written of his involvement in myalgic encephalomyelitis/ chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) research.. Serving as an advisor to the PACE trial investigators, Professor Wessely has defended the PACE trial, stating "this trial was a landmark in behavioural complex intervention studies."
Notable studies[edit | edit source]
- 2016, Mortality of people with chronic fatigue syndrome: a retrospective cohort study in England and Wales from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Biomedical Research Centre (SLaM BRC) Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) Register The study has been criticized by James Coyne.
- 2007, A Defence of the Randomized Controlled Trial in Mental Health
- 2000, Diagnosis of psychiatric disorder in clinical evaluation of chronic fatigue syndrome
- 1997, Chronic fatigue syndrome. A practical guide to assessment and management
- 1990, Old wine in new bottles: neurasthenia and 'ME'
Books[edit | edit source]
2012 John Maddox Prize[edit | edit source]
In November 2012 Professor Wessely was awarded the Maddox Prize by Sense About Science who stated "Simon Wessely, Professor of Psychological Medicine at King's College London, was awarded the Prize for his ambition and courage in the field of ME (chronic fatigue syndrome) and Gulf War syndrome, and the way he has dealt bravely with intimidation and harassment when speaking about his work and that of colleagues."
Professor Wessely is also a member of the Advisory Council for Sense About Science.
Controversies & criticism[edit | edit source]
Camelford water supply contamination In 1988 the public water supply in Camelford in England was accidentally contaminated with aluminium sulphate. Professor Wessely published a paper in 1995 playing down the effects of the pollution and suggesting significant psychological factors were involved. The government formally and unreservedly apologized in 2013, 25 years later, to those whose health was affected by the water supply contamination.
Accusations of poor quality research In 2000 Wessely & fellow researchers were accused of "unsupported conclusions derived from faulty analyses", and responded that "we've been attacked by gremlins" who changed the data on their manuscript.
Talks, Interviews, & Newspaper articles[edit | edit source]
- 2014, Psychiatrists and the pharma industry are to blame for the current ‘epidemic’ of mental disorders
- 2010, Chronic fatigue syndrome (The BMJ podcast)
- 1994, "Is cancer all in the mind?" by Simon Wessely
Quotations[edit | edit source]
- Simon Wessely in his own words
- Wessely's Words Revisited
- 1993, "The worst thing to do is tell them to rest", "exercise is good for these patients", "Benefits can often make patients worse". 
Online presence[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
Simon Charles Wessely is a director and has held a total of 5 appointments. He is a director of the Science Media Centre (Company number 07560997.
Learn more[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia - Simon Wessely
- 2015, Chronic fatigue syndrome gets yet another name
- 2013, Professor Sir Simon Wessely – Right or Wrong? (Margaret Williams)
- 2013, Simon Wessely's Big Shift? CBT Icon Calls For Big Rituximab Trial
- 2012, Letter from Countess Mar to Professor Simon Wessely (Countess of Mar)
- 2011, Interview with Professor Simon Wessely, The Times (ME Association)
- 2011, Dr Ian Gibson talks to BBC Radio Norfolk
- 2004, Notes on the involvement of Wessely et al with the Insurance Industry and how they deal with ME/CFS claims
- 1993, Letter to Mansel Aylward at the Department of Social Security complaining about neurological classification of ME/CFS
See Also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Royal College of Psychiatrists: Simon Wessely
- personal story
- The PACE Trial for chronic fatigue syndrome: choppy seas but a prosperous voyage
- Bad stats, non sequitur conclusions in Lancet chronic fatigue syndrome/suicide study
- Deale, A., & Wessely, S. (2000). Diagnosis of psychiatric disorder in clinical evaluation of chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 93(6), 310–312.
- Sharpe, M; Chalder, T; Palmer, I; Wessely, S (1997), "Chronic fatigue syndrome. A practical guide to assessment and management" (PDF), Gen Hosp Psychiatry, 19 (3): 185-99, doi:10.1016/S0163-8343(97)80315-5, PMID 9218987
- Maddox Prize
- 2012 Maddox Prize
- Professor Simon Wessely’s award of the inaugural John Maddox Prize for his courage in the field of ME and Gulf War Syndrome
- "Dr. Ian Gibson on BBC radio: Prof Simon Wessely has been blocking proper research into ME for years"
- Chronic fatigue syndrome researchers face death threats from militants
- Interview with Professor Simon Wessely, The Times, 6 August 2011
- 'Torrent of abuse' hindering ME research
- Mind the gap
- Scientists investigating ME get 'death threats' for investigating psychological causes
- Protesters have got it all wrong on ME
- BBC News: Scientists working on ME/CFS are abusing and intimidating patients
- Camelford water pollution incident
- The Legend of Camelford - Medical Consequences of a Water Pollution Accident
- Camelford water poisoning: Unreserved government apology