We are pleased to announce the relaunch of our CFS/ME service (previously known as OCCMET).  The Oxfordshire CFS/ME service is a community service for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), their families and carers.  The service is provided by a team of therapists and a GP who are all specialists in CFS/ME.  We see adults and young people (over 14 years of age) of all severities; mild to very severe.  The team also provides a specialist resource service to other professionals in health care, social and community care, education and workplaces.

CFS/ME is a relatively common condition which can have a profound impact on a person, as well as their family, affecting people of all ages.  Extreme fatigue most of the time is the main symptom; very different from ordinary tiredness and not alleviated by rest.  Simple mental or physical tasks can leave the person feeling exhausted and struggling to function.  It has profound impact and can limit all areas of daily life, leaving people feeling isolated, excluded and highly frustrated.  Prompt diagnosis and management advice is especially productive (as in NICE Guidelines 2007). People make varying levels of recovery, with many people returning to engaging in what they describe as normal activities.

The team provides a personalised service that supports people towards recovery through developing an understanding of the condition and how to regain control of their energy and participation in daily living.  We provide a range of individual and group programmes. Group programmes enable participants to identify together the best ways forward, alongside people already on their recovery journeys and experienced CFS/ME professionals.  Introduction to managing CFS/ME is a new programme that we are running at different locations in the county through the year for people with the diagnosis and for a family member or partner.  A Mindfulness taster session will also shortly be available.

A similar service is provided for young people and we hope to offer an Introduction to managing CFS/ME group programme for this age group in the future.  The team will also work together with the young person and their school to help develop a plan for their educational needs to be met in the most appropriate way.

We continue to explore new ways of assisting people, we are involved in locally in a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded research study (Southampton University) for severe CFS/ME, utilising personalised audio-recordings on recovery skills and contact with a peer recovery support group.

People wishing to be referred to the service should speak to their GP or paediatrician.  For more information about the service and how to refer, please see go to https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/cfs-me or email the service via cfs@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk