Chief Medical Officer Report 2002

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

In 2002 the CFS/ME Working Group submitted its report to the UK government's then Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, titled A report of the CFS/ME Working Group. The previous Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth Calman, asked the working group to submit recommendations regarding future policy direction. The working group suffered several resignations, both from professionals and from patient groups. On publication it was heralded as a [“long overdue watershed moment in the history of M.E”][1] with great expectations for potential to transform by MPs but it did not have the expected impact on the medical establishment and care and research provision for people with M.E

Professor Michael Sharpe responded.[2]

Doctor Michael Fitzpatrick responded critically, referring to patients as suffering from "self-deception".[3]

Impact[edit | edit source]

The reports publication was marked by a brief debate in parliament with key MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and the Labour health secretary Jaqui Smith. This debate highlighted the recognition of ME as a distressing and disabling condition and expectations around “research into all aspects of the illness”, as well as hopes for improved services and medical care.

Key recommendations[edit | edit source]

1. Research

A programme of research on all aspects of CFS/ME is required.

Government investment in research on CFS/ME should encompass health-services research, epidemiology, behavioural and social science, clinical research and trials, and basic science.

In particular, research is urgently needed to:

● Elucidate the aetiology and pathogenesis of CFS/ME;

● Clarify its epidemiology and natural history;

● Characterise its spectrum and/or subgroups (including age-related subgroups);

● Assess a wide range of potential therapeutic interventions including symptom- control measures;

● Define appropriate outcome measures for clinical and research purposes; and

● Investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different models of care. The research programme should include a mix of commissioned or directed research alongside sufficient resource allocation for investigator-generated studies on the condition

Committee members[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

3. 2002 Parliamentary debate with the health minister Jaqui Smith, on the Chief Medical Officer’s report [1]