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UK : South Coast fatigue service

Discussion in 'UK clinics and doctors' started by Sly Saint, Jul 9, 2022.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    came across this from Jan 2022

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy) (ME) Service
    A Prior Information Notice

    Contract (Services)
    4 year


    which later seems to have been awarded
    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy) (ME) Service
    A Contract Award Notice


    the service:

    NHS Funded ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Programmes

    South Coast Fatigue runs a programme to meet the different needs of those individuals who are mild to moderately affected by ME/CFS.


    anyone know anything about this service?

    MEMarge, Hutan, alktipping and 3 others like this.
  2. bobbler

    bobbler Senior Member (Voting Rights)


    I don't/haven't had any direct experience but it seems worth flagging further afield as a question (maybe MEA could ask) given the context of it being awarded in April 2022 via this process. And thinking of previous notes elsewhere about how contracts can sometimes make it difficult for things to be changed etc. given the length of time these seem to be for.

    I'm intrigued because as you read through their website and rest of the info on the bidstats link it could be 'either way' regarding the service - there is enough 'trigger words' like recovery-focused, feelings and KPIs with various %s. Both seem ambiguous on mentioning of Nice guidelines or anything specific to old or new ones.

    But then you look at the staff page and the team seems to be predominantly Occupational Therapists, specialist nurse (who worked in MS) - noting that it doesn't specify who of these works on the ME/CFS service. Although one OT has a background saying they worked in ME/CFS specifically at Romford under Dr Findlay and moved to Hampshire and worked in ME/CFS patients in the NHS and then independently.

    I'm currently not a fan of seeing only mild/moderate but wondering whether these are historical and funding/politics-related things - it does give me the heebeegeebees of why these are being carved off still
  3. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    I wonder how much of this historic establishment of services catering just for mild/moderate ME/CFS is because of the previous NICE guidelines that indicated GET/CBT was only appropriate for mild/moderate and gave no real advice for severe ME. Though many of the BPS CFS researchers seem to had already made the decision to ignore severe ME. Was this because it was obvious they were genuinely ill and impossible to pretend that talking and exercise was in any way relevant?

    I suppose the further advantage of focusing just on mild/moderate is that you can provide a purely outpatient service, which superficially seems cheaper than either domiciliary or inpatient services.

    That services supposedly catering to a patient grouping from the start excluded at least 25% of the most serious disabled of that grouping is profoundly depressing. Could cancer services get away with saying we provide cancer services except for anyone who has stage four tumours?
  4. bobbler

    bobbler Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Agreed. It feels like there is a story behind that one given it would seem obvious some severe ME have ended up in certain situations. It 'seems' like the artificial divide to the extent of separate services has little justification and would hinder understanding of the fuller picture of the condition/produce more complications etc. Funding wise there is also the risk of cherry-picking. I could go on forever but guess this might distract the thread too much

    On a side-note for this one (but with general applicability) I find the lack of clarity in what a patient will be faced with outrageous. Why is the constructive ambiguity permitted, when they need information in order to protect their own safety. That is obviously an ethical issue too.

    It's another one of those 'common sense/knowledge' that not providing clarity whether the person or treatment is something safe or not safe given the ongoing history is not OK, and shouldn't be coming second to internal political needs. But maybe there is a different tack to underline this and the harm associated with it and how it isn't a sustainable position for patients (and does little to reduce stigma/lack of clarity of what the condition for those who might be around someone with ME etc)? When and how do patients get to see and feel reassured whether anything has/will substantially change whilst descriptions can be so fluid?
    Hutan, alktipping and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  5. MEMarge

    MEMarge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Well the link from their website to the "essential Fatigue management programme" below, is now showing "404 Page not found"

    Maybe they are responding to Charles Shepherds email?

    A bespoke programme for post infection fatigue is required, which is why the team at South Coast Fatigue have adapted their already well developed, bespoke programmes to create an essential fatigue management programme. This is now available and can be used on its own or in conjunction with a vocational rehabilitation programme to support a return to the workplace.

    Does anyone have a screenshot or download of it?
  6. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

    Aotearoa New Zealand
  7. bobbler

    bobbler Senior Member (Voting Rights)


    It has suddenly struck me that one upshot of not providing clarity regarding the service is that people 'sign-up/go along' to find out it is something that would not be useful.

    1. Does this mean that the service 'gets paid' even if people only go for one appointment? EDIT* and by this I mean maybe for the whole fee for a series of appointments (like a uni has a cut-off date in first term after which they get the whole fee even if someone drops out)

    2. Does this mean that the service then controls how a drop-out/non-completion is reported? ANd would there by any chance be a nudge that means they get paid if the issue was the patient (service can't control for failure patients) vs service not being a match (where they would need to look at payment/future contracts)

    So instead of having whoever the referrer is writing and noticing that most patients decline the offer due to the service not being safe, the service itself then gets to suggest the reason (which as we know often gets turned into 'patient failure' instead of 'service failure').

    As someone from a background working in universities I find it wholly shocking that the drop-out/non-completion rate is not the entire focus of any auditor or oversight. And even more shocking that we have the sham where even in official 'research' based on clinics non-independent academics are allowed to infer the reasons behind it rather than it being thoroughly independent follow-up.

    Particularly, but not exclusively, when these are outsourced services why on earth has noone cared enough or had enough respect of patients even to make sure that independent horses-mouth surveys/reporting is happenning before contract renewal.

    And it says a whole lot about the attitude of the industry (and them perhaps being well aware that fixing it would not be in their own interests for many reasons) that they are not obsessively driven by watching and fixing these moments of truth themselves. And shocking that noone seems to really care what state patients are in after they've been through 'their system' yet parrot the 'recovery myth'.

    I do think we've all perhaps go inadvertently dumped into the middle of a 'wellness industry-focused innovation' where positive (wishful and seeking out info that backs what you want to think) bias in order to keep doing what you want to do and keep being able to claim that is worthwhile has dominated methodology. To the point I suspect it has skewed things to the point those served and sought by the services are probably least likely to have the condition, or the most harmed (because they are physically harmed but the embedded psychological programming and nudges mean they people-pleased ended up saying they were grateful for it and said positive things before collapsing to be polite to the staff).

    You end up with a self-fulfilling bums-on-seats prophecy, where the question is: goodness knows who the people these services have listened to and worked with most actually are.

    Even if this sort of thing were justified as an 'add-on' under the guise of 'we don't have any medical treatments yet so we are offering any therapies that might help' then it should only be being paid for after they've set up proper clinics with actual physicians and suitable HCPs who provide adjustments, monitoring and are researching what does and doesn't work (to further the knowledge of the condition). But also when you look at things like MS such places would exist under a very different set-up e.g. a local charity that might be funded by NHS (as these are) but is driven in its decisions by those with the condition - one near me has things like oxygen therapy, therapeutic massage, foot care etc. This is not in the interests of or 'for' as they like to claim this particular demographic of patients when you compare the two - simply by voice and governance and input.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2022
    MEMarge, Ariel, chrisb and 1 other person like this.

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