Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man NHS promises better service for ME & CFS patients

A tired man
Image caption ME and chronic fatigue affect about 350 people on the Isle of Man

Manx patients with myalgic encephalopathy (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) will soon benefit from a dedicated service for the first time, the island's health minister said.

David Ashford MHK told Tynwald that a pilot scheme would start next month.

The Isle of Man's National Health Service does not currently provide any specialist services, unlike in England where they are widely available.

About 350 people on the island have either ME or CFS.

Symptoms include fatigue, poor memory, sound hypersensitivity and pain.

An ME Support charity spokesman said that while he was "encouraged" by the announcement, it was "concerning a full service hasn't been announced".

He added that he wanted "a service that recognises how difficult the lives are of people who have ME".

'Dedicated service'

In April Mr Ashford pledged to put "care pathways" in place by 2020 after a petition calling for a dedicated service attracted more than 1,500 signatures.

Former health minister Kate Beecroft MHK said it had taken "an awful long time" to implement the new provisions after £90,000 was set aside for it in the 2018-2019 budget.

Mr Ashford said he hoped they would have sufficient data by the end of the financial year in April to assess the level of need required.

Putting the service in place had taken a long time to get "off the ground", he said, but pledged "to make sure that the service is delivered properly".

"A mix of medical professionals" is needed in addition to a neuropsychologist to ensure an adaptable service, he continued.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites