The CFS/ME Service was commissioned
in 2004 to assess and treat 150-200 new referrals annually, for
patients meeting the criteria. Treatments will be based upon
the NICE guidelines (2007) supported by any new evidence such as
the PACE trial (2012).
Following receipt of a complete referral
form supported by appropriate history, examination and
investigations patients will be triaged.
Predominantly assessments will be undertaken
by Vicki Piggott, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist; Marie
Liddell, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist; Tricia Bailey,
Specialist Physiotherapist; Janet Ferry, Specialist Occupational
Therapist. Patients will have their assessment and management
plans individually discussed, and a summary communicated to the
The service is supported by Dr Keith
Linsley, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for one session
per week. Medical assessments may be supported by Dr Peter
Cook. Consultant Physician at University Hospital of North Durham,
along with Dr Gavin Spickett, Consultant Immunologist at the Royal
Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle Upon Tyne, on an adhoc
It is the aim of the service to
provide a responsive and high quality service to patients who
present with CFS/ME, aiming to empower patients and carers to
manage the problems of the illness in everyday life. Where
necessary the service will work with partner organisations who are
involved with the patient or may need to become involved.
This includes providing expert reports for any associated bodies
such as DWP or Occupational Health. The service will maintain
links and be an active participant in the Regional CFS/ME
Treatment response is variable between patients. Typically
patients will receive a maximum of 12 therapy sessions. Some
of these sessions may include telephone consultation, by mutual
agreement. End of treatment will be mutually
planned. All patients (barring change of circumstances) will
be then offered six month and one year reviews to revisit the end
of treatment outcome and to ensure the patient is still empowered
to manage their condition.
The service intends to provide the best possible care for
patients. The team will maintain high standards of assessment
and up to date clinical knowledge and skills.
Subject to contracting arrangements the service would like to
extend the scope of its practice to other patient groups, where it
is deemed the therapist skills are appropriate. For instance,
a recent successful pilot of group therapy treating patients with
Fibromyalgia, working alongside Consultant Rheumatologists.
This service is available to all
patients who are registered with a GP, within Co Durham &
The service is based at AHP Central
Appointments, Merrington House, Merrington Lane Industrial Estate,
Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 7UT.
Tel: 01388 825
The service is ran Monday to Friday 08:30 - 16:30.
Clinic locations are Shotley Bridge
Community Hospital, Healthworks at Easington, Chester-le-Street
Community Hospital, University Health Centre at Green Lane Durham,
Pioneering Care Centre at Newton Aycliffe and Sedgefield Community
Referrals are accepted from GPs and Consultants supported with
appropriate history, examination and investigation
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital