UK ME/CFS Delivery Plan – Update

On International ME Awareness Day 2022, the Rt Hon Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Sajid Javid) issued a written statement on ME/CFS. Two initiatives were announced which the Secretary of State pledged showed the Government’s commitment ‘to better care and support for people living with ME/CFS and their families.’ The second of these was the promise of a Delivery Plan

I am announcing the Government’s intention to develop a cross-Government delivery plan on ME/CFS for England, aligning with other devolved nations as appropriate. In particular, we are engaging with the Scottish Government to explore areas of potential shared interest and learning, especially in terms of research into ME/CFS.

This will build on the recommendations of the Priority Setting Partnership, the recently updated guideline for ME/CFS from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and the comprehensive work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis to date.

Over the past year a number of Updates have been given, laying out the structure of the process with task and finish groups, working parties, and sub-groups. Indeed, the 17th August 2022 Update expressed the firm intention to release the draft Delivery Plan later in 2022 in order to facilitate wider engagement on the plan and proposals for action. By the December 2022 Update all involved, including ME Research UK, were informed that

……. the draft Delivery Plan was not ready for sharing more widely by the end of this year, as originally intended. We are now aiming to publish it as soon as possible in 2023.

On the cusp of a year since Sajid Javid made his announcement and 5 months into 2023 what is the current commitment on a publishing date?

The delay and lack of specificity no doubt prompted Carol Monaghan MP, Chair of the APPG on ME to table a Written Question on 2nd May

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the cross-Government delivery plan on ME/CFS for England.

The response was hardly enlightening

The Department plans to publish a draft delivery plan on ME/CFS shortly. We intend to seek views on the draft plan before publishing a final delivery plan at a later date.

Helen Whately (Conservative, Faversham and Mid Kent) UIN 183459
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