CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME & ME

Sentinel’s CFS/ME service clinics are currently held at the  Plymouth Science Park in Derriford.

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The CFS/ME Team consists of:

Consultant, GP with a Specialist Interest, Specialist Occupational Therapists

and CFS/ME Co-ordinator

Office Hours for the Team are

Monday – Wednesday 8.00 – 4.30 pm

Telephone: 01752 435205

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/Myalgic encephalopathy (ME) is a condition or spectrum of disorders, characterised by persistent or relapsing fatigue lasting more than 4 months in adults and 3 months in children.  The World Health Organisation classifies CFS/ME as a neurological condition; whose symptoms can be as disabling as other serious conditions such as congestive heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis.  The National Institute of Clinical Excellence estimates 1 in 250 of the population is affected by CFS/ME.

What are the symptoms of CFS/ME

Symptoms can be very diverse, including

Debilitating, persistent fatigue and post exertional malaise
Chronic joint and muscle pain and headaches Sleep disturbance
Flu-like symptoms, re-current sore throats and painful lymph glands
Problems with information and processing, planning and decision making

What Causes CFS/ME

Currently the causes of CFS/ME are uncertain.  Onset can be acute and possible causes include persistent viral infections, immune disturbance, genetic vulnerability and prolonged and persistent stress.  International research into the condition and its causes is on-going.

Treatment Guidelines

Sentinel Healthcare Southwest CIC is commissioned to provide treatment based on The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

The NICE guidelines recognises CFS/ME as an illness characterised by fluctuating symptoms, including debilitating fatigue, which can have a substantial impact on those with CFS/ME and their care-givers.  Specialist CFS/ME services are designed to provide an individualised, person-centred programme, based on a cognitive behavioural treatment approach.

The treatment may focus on the following goals:

To restore a balance between rest and activity in a multi-tasking lifestyle
To improve sleep patterns and dietary intake
To overcome difficulties with concentration, memory and information processing
To develop problem solving and goal setting techniques
To increase participation in valued social activity
To provide advice related to employment or education
To develop strategies to prevent relapse

However this is tailored to individual needs for each patient

HOW CAN I ACCESS THIS SERVICE?

Our service is commissioned to provide the treatment strategies outlined in the N.I.C.E. guidelines for this condition. The treatment pathway is delivered as follows:

 

Via a group programme over 11 sessions

Alternatively it may be more appropriate to offer patients a set number of guided self-help strategies on an individual basis

For a patient who is bedbound or completely housebound, a home assessment can be arranged after liaison with yourself as their G.P.

Your GP will need to refer you to our CFS/ME service. They can refer you by completing our Referral Form.

PRAISE FROM PATIENTS

  • Really nice to be seen in a small clean hospital, where the staff have time to care and the Doctors have the time to do their work, and give the attention to the patient.

    Sentinel Patient
  • Got to hospital, seen on time. Staff very obliging, doctor took time to tell me what was happening and preventive care. Felt like it was a private hospital. Many thanks.

    Sentinel Patient
  • I found the staff very helpful and polite, everyone seemed to be relaxed and aware of the patient’s needs. I was very pleased with my visit to the clinic. Thank you.

    Sentinel Patient
  • The experience was very good, the appointment came through promptly, everything was explained and questions answered. It was all very relaxed yet professional.

    Sentinel Patient
  • Very professional. Very precise. Thorough examination. Down to earth explanation regarding my symptoms and possible remedy. Felt confident in the way I was listened to.

    Sentinel Patient
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