Since its inception in 2005, the Brighton-based NHS Sussex Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) Service, has dealt with over 3,000 referrals.
With help from the national ME Society, the NHS Sussex CFS/ME Service is staffed by a specialist doctor and a multidisciplinary team of six who offer confirmation diagnosis, symptom control and management courses.
ME can follow a viral infection or trauma and affects over 6,000 people across Sussex including a good number in the LGBT community. Symptoms include profound physical and mental fatigue, concentration and short term memory difficulties along with pain and sleep disturbance. Gastric and vision problems are also common.
Colin Barton, Chair of the Brighton-based Sussex ME Society, was running a successful hotel business in 1981 when he became ill after contracting a glandular fever type illness that he never fully recovered from.
“At one stage I was virtually bed-bound and had to be helped around by our elderly housekeeper. I could not function physically or mentally for any useful period of time and had to give up my business when doctors were not sure what the problem was.”
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