Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalopathy Service

The CFS/ME Service (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalopathy) offers multidisciplinary assessment and treatment programmes for adults from 18 years with CFS/ME. 

The emphasis of our service is on self-management and rehabilitation and draws on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded activity.

Treatment is a collaborative process and the focus is always based on your needs and capabilities. The treatment programme aims to help you build on your problem solving techniques so you can discover the most useful ways to manage and overcome your illness. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalopathy (CFS/ME) is an illness that can affect people in different ways. The common symptom that all sufferers experience is persistent and disabling physical and mental fatigue. 

Your GP will normally make a diagnosis of CFS/ME on the basis of symptom history, physical examination, and some routine blood tests. 

For information on CFS/ME symptoms, diagnosis and management please refer to the NICE guidelines.

Assessment

Once your referral has been accepted you will be invited to opt into the service. If you agree, you will then join the waiting list for an assessment appointment. The aim of the assessment is to see how your illness is affecting you and how it has developed. Your assessment appointment is an opportunity to raise any questions you may have and discuss treatment options. 

Treatment

If you decide to receive treatment you will generally be offered a place on one of our multi-disciplinary group programmes which will take place at Margate and Maidstone. 

A structured programme will cover topics such as:

  • Monitoring activity levels
  • Establishing baselines
  • Identifying appropriate graded increases
  • Moderating patterns of activity and rest
  • Sleep management
  • Relaxation training
  • Movement and stretching
  • Understanding and managing symptoms
  • Understanding medication
  • Coping with flare ups
  • Identifying and overcoming blocks to progress.

What to expect

Going ahead with treatment requires some commitment. You may be set tasks to do between sessions. Carrying out these tasks is an important part of your treatment and good progress will not happen with out them. If you want to achieve the maximum benefit from the programme it is very important that you attend regularly. Many people have found a self-management approach to be helpful and have continued to maintain their gains long after the sessions have finished. 

We hope that you will learn new skills to sustain and build on improvements and to cope with any setbacks that may occur.

Books

Overcoming Chronic Fatigue (Book)
Mary Burgess and Trudie Chalder 2009 - Constable and Robinson

Coping with CFS (Book)
Trudie Chalder 1995 - Sheldon Press

Self Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Guide for Young People (Book)
Trudie Chalder and Kaneez Hussain 2002 - Blue Stallion Publications

Fighting Fatigue: Managing the Symptoms (Book)
Sue Pemberton, Catherine Berry and Janine Spencer 2009 - Hammersmith Press

Coping Successfully with Pain (Book)
Neville Shone 2002 - Sheldon Press

Living With Chronic Pain (CD)
Neil Berry www.paincd.org.uk

The Mindful way through Depression: Freeing yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (Book - includes audio CD)
Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn 2007 - Guilford Press

Full Catastrophe Living: How to Cope with Stress, Pain and Illness Using Mindfulness (Book)
Jon Kabat-Zinn 1991 - Bantam

Mindfulness for beginners (CD)
Jon Kabat-Zinn 2006 - Sounds True

Referrals

Referrals are from your GP or Medical Consultants.

For admin please contact:

Kent and Medway CFS/ME Service
Neuropsychology Medway Admin Hub
Disablement Services Centre
Medway Maritime Hospital
Gillingham, Kent ME7 5NY

Please note, our clinical base is Bay Tree/George Villa, Maidstone.

Contact us

01634 833937

01634 401065

CFS/ME Service Medway Admin Hub
Disablement Services Centre
Medway Maritime Hospital
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 5NY