How can we help?
Who are we?
We are a team of specialist health professionals. We provide assessment and treatment for patients who have symptoms consistent with CFS/ ME and who are aged 16 and over, and are registered with a Portsmouth City GP. Our team is made up of an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist and a psychologist, along with administrative support.
How do I access the service?
Our service is accessed by GP referral. As part of the referral process we ask GPs to do a range of blood tests in order to exclude any underlying condition that could be causing the fatigue.
What do we offer for patients?
We support GPs and other medical professionals with the process of diagnosis of CFS/ME. Our treatments are based on a self-management approach. We help people to understand the condition and we support them to find ways to stabilise the symptoms and build up their energy resources gradually. We work with people at different stages of the illness, from those who are mildly or moderately affected to those who are severely affected.
Treatment is individually tailored to help each person to manage their symptoms and improve their functioning and overall quality of life. The approaches we use are recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). We offer both individual and group treatments. The length of sessions varies from up to an hour for individual sessions to 2 hours for group sessions, with breaks included.
Our treatments include the following components:
- Activity management – this includes working together with the patient to find the right balance between different type of activity and incorporating rest. We look at things such as pacing, rest breaks, eating routines, sleep habits, and how to adapting activities to make them more manageable. Over time we aim to gradually increase the amount of physical and cognitive activity that people are able to manage. Our occupational therapist can also offer support and advice with work.
- Relaxation and mindfulness training. Rest is a key aspect of managing CFS/ME and we support and encourage people to explore a variety of strategies.
- Psychological therapies to support people in coping with the condition and how it affects their lives.
- Graded Exercise Therapy – working with people to establish what kind of physical activity they would like to be doing more of and helping them to build this up, by finding the right starting point and increase gradually with support.
- Set-back plans and coping with flare-ups
- We have close links to Talking Change and can refer patients to clinicians in this service who can provide interventions for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. This can be organised as part of the treatment pathway with our service.