On 12th May 2022, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care issued a statement which committed the Government to provide better care and support for people living with ME/CFS and their families. Research into the disease was highlighted and, in furtherance of this, the Secretary of State intimated that
The Chief Scientific Adviser has asked the UK Clinical Research Collaboration to convene a subgroup on ME/CFS to work with funders, researchers, charities, and people with ME/CFS to drive high-quality applications for research into ME/CFS and support the research community to build capacity and capability in this field. We are committed to funding research into this important area. Funding for high-quality research into ME is available through existing commitments of HM Government to research and development.
As part of the process, a ME/CFS Research Meeting was held on 9th June 2022 and attended by
- The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon. Sajid Javid
- Professor Lucy Chappell – the DHSC Chief Scientific Advisor
- Dr David Strain, University of Exeter; Medical Advisor to Action for ME
- Prof Sir Stephen Holgate, University of Southampton
- Prof Chris Pointing, University of Edinburgh
- Prof Hazel Dockrell, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Prof Julia Newton, Newcastle University
- Prof David Price, Cardiff University
- Prof Manju Kurian, Institute of Child Health, University College London
- Prof Ian Bruce, University of Manchester
- Prof Maureen Hanson, Cornell University, U.S
- Sonya Chowdhury, Chief Executive, Action for ME
- Dr Charles Shepherd, Trustee and Honorary Medical Advisor to the ME Association
- Jonathan Davies, Chair of ME Research UK
Topics under discussion included
- Research priorities identified by the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership
- The clinical and pathological overlaps with Long Covid
- The need to encourage new researchers into ME/CFS
- Issues relating to how the charities and government bodies are funding research and how this could be improved.
The next phase is a meeting of a newly formed sub-committee on ME Research under the guidance of the UKCRC (UK Clinical Research Collaboration) which will have its first meeting on 30th June 2022.