This quick poll is designed to be a conversation starter. ME Association Website Survey: Why are we asking about the NHS and ME/CFS? Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association. In this month’s website survey, we want to talk about the NHS and the extent to which people with ME/CFS use the services that are currently available to them. It seems likely that the number of times you have used the NHS (GP, specialist clinics, hospital, consultant etc.) in the last 12 months will depend on many different factors and we’d like you to share them with us. You can locate the website survey half-way down the homepage of our website These factors might include where you are in terms of diagnosis and management, the length of time you have had the illness, and whether you feel the NHS is able to offer any practical help or support. Some people may find they draw most heavily on the NHS during the acute (perhaps early) stage of illness onset, when there is little or no explanation for symptoms and debility; and when things are of most concern. Or it could be when they are being tested for exclusion/inclusion of possible causes for their symptoms, or perhaps when relapses occurred necessitating further investigations. Or they have most used the NHS when they were referred to ME/CFS specialist services (clinics) and embarked on management courses over a number of weeks and/or months. It may be the case that the longer people have a diagnosis of ME/CFS, the less they draw on NHS services – even to the extent that they no longer see a GP on a regular basis. Perhaps because they are managing as best they can, have learned the most appropriate form of management, made the necessary adjustments to their lives and have prescriptions in place. For others, it could that there is a genuine fear of approaching the NHS in case they are not believed, or because of previous bad experiences. Or it could be that you or the person you care for is severely or very severely affected, and your dependence on NHS services is greater than for those who are more able. Conversely, you might find that it is at this stage, when the NHS should be providing most care and support, you are unable to access it – because it doesn’t exist. Whatever your reasons for using (or not using) the NHS, we’d really like to hear from you.