ME charity backs NICE ahead of legal challenge by patients

The UK's biggest myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) charity is supporting NICE ahead of a legal challenge to its guidance by patients.

Photograph: istockphoto/ Tammy Peluso
Photograph: istockphoto/ Tammy Peluso

Kevin Short, from Norfolk, and Douglas Fraser, from London, challenge NICE in a judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London starting today.

Explaining why charity Action for ME supports NICE, the body’s chief executive officer Sir Peter Spencer said: ‘We think the NICE guideline represents an opportunity to drive forward the improvement of services for people with ME most of whom obtain their treatment from the NHS.

‘Yes, we are concerned by the emphasis on graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Our latest health survey showed 34% of patients who had received GET in the past three years felt worse after treatment. The randomised controlled trials which are cited by NICE are given too much emphasis in view of their limitations.

‘Nevertheless we believe that there are other aspects of the NICE guideline which could bring considerable benefits.’

  • Should NICE guidance on ME be changed?

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