The HSE make every effort to access relevant evidence based research into Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) / myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy) (ME) as it becomes available. The HSE prioritises the development of guidelines based on clinical need and within available resources.
The challenge in relation to ME is that it does not sit within one specialty, but crosses a number of specialties, with patients frequently attending different Consultants for management of their symptoms as and when they arise. Consultants are well used to coordinating the care of patients that require the input of their colleagues and other members of the multidisciplinary care team.
In order to allow for the timely access to services for patients, work is under way as part of the implementation of the Strategy for the Design of Integrated Outpatient Services 2016-2020, specifically as regards addressing how and where the patient is treated and the classification of referrals with corresponding clinically recommended time-frames. Consideration is also being given to condition specific referral forms. This work should see significant improvements with respect to access to appropriate services.
I have asked the HSE to consider the service matters raised by the Deputy and to respond directly to him.