1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
ME/CFS and the Magic of the Canine Factor
There's been plenty of research indicating that having pets is good for your health. I never really noticed any particular benefits to having cats, though that may have had more to do with my cats. They've been fairly indifferent to my presence and we've shared a live-and-let-live...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

The Prime Minister's Office has responded today to a ME vested interest petition

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by bananaman, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. bananaman

    bananaman

    Messages:
    59
    Likes:
    1
    Bognor UK
    Petition details

    The All Party Parliamentary Group's Gibson Inquiry into ME in 2006 came to the conclusion that it was highly inappropriate for psychiatrists such as Simon Wessely and Peter White et al to act as advisor's on illnesses like ME CFS for the Government and the DWP while working as consultants for the medical insurance industry for companies such as UNUM Provident. The insurance industry have a clear vested interest in classifying such illnesses as psychiatric conditions (despite the WHO classification of ME as a neurological condition ICD 10 G93.3) since they have to pay out less on policies.

    The recommendations of the Gibson Inquiry called for an appropriate standards body to be set up to investigate these clear and alarming vested interests. This recommendation seems to have disappeared in a puff of smoke?

    We the undersigned call for a immediate public inquiry into these inappropriate and blatant conflicts of interest!




    http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page22366


    Read the Government’s response

    The independent inquiry mentioned in your petition stems from a report published in 2006. Neither the Department of Health nor the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were involved in producing the report and have no plans to respond to its findings. The recommendations in the report have since been surpassed by updated guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for the management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME).

    Professors Peter White and Simon Wessely hold Chairs in Psychological Medicine at London University. They have an international reputation in the clinical management of and research into several medical subjects, which include CFS/ME. As such, many organisations including government Departments will draw on their expertise. These doctors have been asked to provide factual clinical information about medical conditions and have no interest in the outcome of state benefit decisions or those made by the insurance industry. They have an ethical obligation to provide advice to the best of their knowledge and the Government is confident that they have done this in their advice to Departments.

    Professor White has advised DWP in the development of guidance for Disability Living Allowance Decision Makers in a number of psychiatric conditions. He has also provided medical advice on CFS/ME and other related medical conditions. In addition to Professor White, DWP has also consulted with other medical experts with an interest in this condition including a rheumatologist, immunologist, occupational therapist, rehabilitation specialist, and physiotherapist. The guidance was also reviewed and discussed extensively with ME charities, welfare rights groups and their medical advisers who provided many helpful comments, which were included in the guidance wherever possible.

    Professor White has provided his independent medical expertise to the insurance industry to help them to understand the medical issues when considering developing policies and deciding claims. As far as UNUM is concerned he has only ever attended one meeting organised by UNUM several years ago, but only as an independent specialist. This involvement in no way compromises the expert medical advice given to the Department, and his insurance consultancy work has always been known to the Department.

    Professor Simon Wessely has not been involved in the development of CFS/ME guidance but has advised with guidance developed for some psychiatric conditions. He has served as a member of Dame Carol Black’s working group on employment. As far as UNUM is concerned Professor Wessely has not given advice, but has spoken at two UNUM sponsored medical meetings.

    The term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is used to describe an illness that is characterised by physical and mental fatigue and fatigability.

    A characteristic feature is fatigue/malaise that follows minimal exertion. People with CFS often describe the fatigue as being of a type and a scale beyond any other they have experienced. The illness may affect both physical and mental functioning, including cognitive function. Accompanying symptoms may include poor sleep, pain, poor concentration and memory, although this list is not exhaustive.

    CFS is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and post-viral fatigue syndrome. There is some difference of opinion over whether ME is different from CFS; however, most authorities refer to the condition as CFS/ME.

    CFS/ME is identified by its symptoms and disabling effects, and by excluding other medical conditions that could explain them. There are no confirmatory abnormal findings on physical examination, nor is there any specific investigation such as an abnormal blood test that is diagnostic. This does not mean that CFS/ME is not a real illness.

    The classification of CFS/ME is confusing and controversial since there are five different World Health Organisation categories that could be chosen by a doctor to describe the illness. The Department of Health classifies the illness as neurological (G93.3). Since eligibility to State Benefits depends more on the severity and nature of disability and its effects, rather than the particular diagnosis, this issue is not central to the guidance developed by DWP. For the purpose of Disability Living Allowance the current law means that a claimant cannot be eligible for a higher rate of mobility unless his/her disability is considered “physical.” For this purpose, CFS/ME is classified as “physical.”
  2. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch dxrevisionwatch.com

    Messages:
    1,797
    Likes:
    523
    UK

    It is pity that the creator of this Petition did not check the name and status of the group set up by former MP, Dr Ian Gibson.

    The All Party Parliamentary Group on ME did not undertake the "Gibson Inquiry".

    An ad hoc group was set up by Dr Gibson, independent of the APPG on ME, specifically to carry out the "inquiry" which was known as the

    "The Group on Scientific Research into ME"

    The group was not on the "Approved List". Under the Rules on All-Party Groups it was not permitted to refer to itself as an "All Party Parliamentary Group and it was bound by different rules for its operation.

    In parliamentary terms, groups not on the "Approved List" have even lower status than All Party Parliamentary Groups.

    The group disbanded in May 2007.

    The more recent inquiry into NHS service provision, chaired by Dr Des Turner (who will be standing down at the election, and thus from office of chair to the APPG on ME) was undertaken by the APPG on ME.

    This inquiry has published only an "interim" report and it remains unclear whether it intends to publish a final report before the group is dissolved at the forthcoming election.

    If the APPG on ME is to continue, a new group with a new chair and committee and 20 "Qualifying Members" (Parliamentarians) will need to be convened.

    As with the NHS service provision inquiry, the "Gibson Inquiry" was an unofficial inquiry. The report that came out of it does not have the authority of either House or of any government department; no department or minister was obliged to respond to its recommendations and Dr Gibson and his panel received no responses to their report. The Secretary to the GSRME resigned the day after the report was published and the group began to disassemble.

    The No 10 response notes that:

    For the purpose of Disability Living Allowance the current law means that a claimant cannot be eligible for a higher rate of mobility unless his/her disability is considered physical. For this purpose, CFS/ME is classified as physical.

    The "Gibson Report" got this wrong (and there were other errors in the report).

    In January 2007, Dr Gibson held a public meeting in London to discuss the content of the report and how it might be used as a campaigning tool. Dr Charles Shepherd and others raised a number of errors, misconceptions and ambiguities with Dr Gibson and his panel. Gibson argued the toss over this point but eventually agreed that the error would be corrected.

    It was not; Dr Gibson could not get his panel together to discuss making amendments and the report remains uncorrected. This misconception over DLA by the "Gibson panel" has on several occasions been reiterated by the press.

    No procedures had been put in place by the panel for dealing with errors in the report, which had been published without consultation and sent out to 600 odd MPs, and various government ministers, complete with errors, before the ME community and ME patient organisations had had sight of it.

    When it comes to calling for inquiries - be careful what you wish for.

    Gibson used to refer to the ME community as "You lot" - as in "We're not used to having to deal with you lot."
  3. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    Brilliant spot! the silver lining is that the UK govt has recognised and politically validated the diagnostic criterea of post exertional malaise or fatigue .ergo the oxford and cdc criterea dont provide a diagnostic approach to comply with our governments view logically then the only guideline that recognises this viewpoint is the canadian criterea.should that then not be the gold standard criterea for UK studies on a dark note however beware that to also qualify for incapacity benefit you must have SEVERE disability
  4. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    Brilliant spot! the silver lining is that the UK govt has recognised and politically validated the diagnostic criterea of post exertional malaise or fatigue .ergo the oxford and cdc criterea dont provide a diagnostic approach to comply with our governments view logically then the only guideline that recognises this viewpoint is the canadian criterea.should that then not be the gold standard criterea for UK studies on a dark note however beware that to also qualify for incapacity benefit you must have SEVERE disability
  5. Adam

    Adam *****

    Messages:
    495
    Likes:
    1
    Sheffield UK

    It is worth noting that I got both Ill Health Early retirement (Local Govt) and DLA (higher rate moblity and lower rate mobility - initially when I was more disabled) with a CFS diagnosis. This is without doubt due to my level of disabilty. Also I do not have a problem with the DWP. I could say I'm lucky, which in terms of my financial situation, I am. However, it is also worth noting that I have a good GP and a brilliant consultant, who is a a professor in Infectious diseases. Without him I could well be destitute.
  6. Min

    Min Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes:
    1,223
    UK
    Their answer fails to mention that Prof of Psychiatry Peter White works for insurance firm Swiss Re.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page