HC Deb 19 December 1997 vol 303 cc390-1W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding the Government have allocated to research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; and if he will make a statement. [21433]

Mr. Boateng

Priorities for funding research in the Department are set very carefully, based on the burden of disease and other criteria. Bids for conducting research into chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) are therefore always considered on that basis. The Department continues to fund research into the management and treatment of CFS/ME through the National Health Service Research and Development Programme. It is currently funding an on-going research project, costing about £60,000, which is looking at whether general practitioners are best placed to manage CFS/ME patients. A recently completed research project, costing over £65,000, considered whether a particular type of psychological treatment was effective in reducing disability in CFS/ME patients. The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council. The Council currently provides support for one Small Project Grant in the area of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome entitled "The role of noradrenaline in the neuropsychological pathogenesis of the chronic fatigue syndrome". The total amount awarded was £37,000.