HC Deb 03 December 2003 vol 415 c78W
Mr. Wiggin:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what programmes are in place for training doctors in treatment of myalgic encephalomyelitis. [141190]

Dr. Ladyman:

Responsibility for the content, standards, management and delivery of medical education is shared between regulatory bodies, for example, the General Medical Council and the Specialist Training Authority, professional bodies, notably the medical Royal Colleges, universities, the Department and the national health service. We expect that these bodies will take account of the latest developments in medicine when developing their syllabuses.

General practitioners are expected to keep their professional skills up-to-date, and learning will always continue even if formal training has ceased.

We are however taking steps to improve services for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). On 12 May 2003, my right hon. Friend the Member for Redditch (Jacqui Smith), announced pump priming funding of £8.5 million to develop services for people with CFS/ ME.

The Medical Research Council published a research strategy for CFS/ME on 1 May 2003. The strategy will enable researchers and funders to develop research proposals on all aspects of this illness. It was developed by an independent research advisory group in response to a request from the Chief Medical Officer, and was informed by contributions from patients, carers, charities, researchers and clinicians via a consultation exercise in summer 2002.