Easy read information
This page is for health professionals with patients who are believed to have chronic fatigue syndrome or ME. The below includes information on our services at Broadgreen hospital, frequently asked questions and our referral form.
Diagnosis is made through a set inclusion and exclusion criteria. Patients tell us that they are grateful and feel supported when they know they are believed by a GP.
The CFS therapy service provide a self-management rehabilitation programme, beginning with one group session, a triage call and two workshops over several months. Finally, a one to one review assesses the patient’s individual needs. The patient may then go on to have tailored therapy sessions. You can read more about these on the "Groups and workshops" page.
Frequently asked questions for health professionals
- What treatments work: there is an evidence base for pacing and grading of activity and cognitive behavioural therapy. Graded exercise is also included in the NICE Guidelines but this approach must to be personalised, as it is not general exercise, and must be supervised by a suitably experienced practitioner.
- Low mood and anxiety: CFS/ME is different from depression and anxiety disorders, although patients can have both concurrently. Medication can be appropriate to prescribe to alleviate symptoms, which can help stability more effective activity and rest management, sleep and pain.
- Exercise: A generic exercise programme given by someone without specific knowledge of the condition is unlikely to work, and may exacerbate symptoms. We can work with patients on an individualised programme at the right time.
- Sleep: Sleeping for longer generally won’t improve fatigue. Advice about sleep hygiene to improve the quality of sleep can be helpful. (link to external websites and information for patients)
- Motivation: Patients are not lacking motivation. A ‘boom and bust’ pattern of activity is usually a result of patients trying to do more than they can sustain.
- Pain: Managing pain alongside fatigue is a significant issue for many patients with CFS/ME. Amitriptyline, Gabapentin and Pregabalin are pain relievers that are commonly used to treat the type of pain seen in CFS/ME patients. Please be aware that patients can be sensitive to new medication.
- Chronic fatigue: Fatigue described and experienced in CFS/ME differs in cause from chronic fatigue. (link to diagnosis section)
- New symptoms: Patients tell us that they worry that if they have the signs of another health problem that it will be put down to their CFS/ME. If you have any questions regarding usual CFS/ME symptomology, versus atypical presentations, please contact the service to discuss this further. (link to NICE guidelines)
- Investigations: Ensuring all the required blood tests are completed before sending us the referral form will prevent delays in issuing an appointment.
- Patients who relapse: If you patient has been diagnosed and treated by us in the past and is now experiencing a significant relapse, without stabilisation, please consider re-referring (link to referral form)