Primary fatigue service, Cwm Taf MUHB
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (CTMUHB) is the first health board in Wales to launch a service for post viral illness, which includes both ME/CFS and Long COVID. Who is the service for?
Anyone who lives in Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil or Rhondda Cynon Taf with a diagnosis of ME/CFS or Long COVID can be referred to the Primary Fatigue Service (PFS). You are advised to speak to your GP if you suspect you might have either of those conditions and they will do some investigations and blood tests to reach a diagnosis. They and other health professionals (consultant, nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, physiotherapist etc) can also refer you. Unfortunately you cannot refer yourself.
What will the service offer?
Assessment – To begin with you will talk to a therapist to assess how your symptoms affect you, what you already do to manage them and what you would like to be able to do with your life. You will hopefully agree a plan of action. This could take up to an hour by phone, in a clinic, or if necessary, at home. The session will be tailored to the individual.
‘Treatments’ – you might be offered one to one sessions with either a physiotherapist or occupational therapist. A GP and psychologist are also available to advise if necessary. The length of the sessions will be tailored to your needs, up to 60 mins, and could be via the phone, in a clinic or in the home.
The approach will vary depending on the person, but it will often include support to deal with PEM such as how to find a baseline and get out of a boom/bust cycle, to pace and balance the energy envelope, to plan and prioritise.
Camau management programme – this series of sessions will take place in community venues in Bridgend, Pontypridd and Merthyr, and also online. They will introduce tools to help you manage your condition and include topics such as sleep, nutrition and finding some pleasure and quality of life. The aim is to help you gain the skills and knowledge to self-manage and live well with your condition.
The Service was launched on Monday 1 October 2023. GPs began to refer patients before that date so there could quickly be a waiting list!
WAMES have shared the needs, wishes and experiences of people with ME/CFS with the Service Team, but have not been consulted on the nature of the sessions they will offer. The organisers however are keen to get feedback on their service and the website. They emphasis that it is ‘a work in progress’.
We would be interested to hear the experiences of anyone who uses the Service. We will pass all comments, positive and negative, to the Service anonymously, unless specifically asked not to. In this way we can still influence how the service progresses and ensure that it meets the needs of people with ME/ CFS. Contact email@example.com