Consultant occupational therapist Sue Pemberton, who has been clinical lead of the Leeds and West Yorkshire ME/CFS service for 22 years, has parted company with the NHS after a major review of the service.
The new clinical lead will be a liaison psychiatrist, Dr Hiroko Akagi.
There was no place for either Pemberton or consultant immunologist and allergist, Dr Philip Wood, following the service review. They have both set up a new business called The Yorkshire Fatigue Clinic.
In a statement released yesterday by the patient-run Leeds ME Network, Pemberton writes:
“I would like to personally thank everyone from the Leeds ME Network for the support they have given to the Leeds & West Yorkshire CFS/ME Service through the recent changes. From starting the service 22 years ago, I have always believed that the service should be shaped by the people who have the condition. Over the years there have been threats to the service, and it was always the patients’ voice that saved it.
“Leeds & York Partnership Foundation NHS Trust has decided the service will now be heading in a new direction. Dr Hiroko Akagi, a skilled and experienced Liaison Psychiatrist, will be taking the Consultant Lead and I trust in her ability to maintain the standards that we have developed over the years.
“Sadly, LYPFT decided that the skills and expertise of a Consultant Physician and Consultant Occupational Therapist were no longer necessary to the service. However, both Dr Philip Wood (Consultant Immunologist and Allergist) and I believe that medical assessment and expertise in rehabilitation remain important for people with CFS/ME. We are therefore establishing the new Yorkshire Fatigue Clinic to provide patients with access to a range of health professionals to give you choice about what will help you in addressing this disabling condition.
For more information on the Yorkshire Fatigue Clinic, please see the new web site and information leaflet.”
The website is just the barest of bones at the moment but a contact phone number is given for the business.
In an unsigned statement which seems to have been written before the appointment of Dr Akagi became public knowledge, Leeds ME Network complain about the “terrible squandering of experience and ability” involved in the loss of Sue Pemberton.
And they quote lengthy feedback from Chris Butler, chief executive of the Leeds and York Partnership Trust, who said the review proposals were sent to all 477 people who were current service-users.
Joe Kane writes:
An excellent recent example of the psychiatric model of illness taking over NHS services is provided by Leeds and W Yorkshire ME/CFS service.
First it was headed by an immunologist. They were replaced by an Occupational Therapist. Now the OT been replaced by a psychiatrist, who is supposed to be dealing with patients with a physical disease.
It won’t be long before all patients will have to see a psychiatrist first before they are allowed to access to expensive NHS services and treatments. Patients basically have to see psychiatrists first (ESA50-WCA) before they’re allowed access to sickness and disability benefits. So why not the NHS?
I can just imagine an NHS finally in the hands of the empire builders of the Whitehall mandarin pro-psychiatric lobby, in same way the DWP has been over-run by them – if you can reach your local hospital’s A&E unit then there’s nothing wrong with you.
Anne Selby WRITES:
The government want to believe it and they want the medical profession to believe it because it fits with their plans to reduce benefits to sick and/or disabled people.
If they can attribute physical symptoms to the psychological, then there are simply no problem are there?
The sick and disabled of the UK are now facing exactly the same problems that the Gulf War veterans faced when we came back sick from the first Gulf War.
We were stonewalled left right and centre.
Once Wessely and the MOD had finished with us, the press had splayed the fact that our symptoms were nothing but PTSD or a form of it all over the media, so we had NO support from the general public who decided we were all malingerers looking for compensation and our GPs and local hospitals were unsympathetic to our plight because they bought into it all as well.
We literally had nowhere to go to get help.
I only got a War Disablement pension after I was admitted into a local hospital after three recurrent bouts of pneumonia in three months.
The chest physician there diagnosed me with damaged lungs and I was lucky to have X-rays from just prior to deployment to the Gulf done in my local hospital and not by the military.
He compared my X-rays with those done after return and the difference in them was marked.
I was given a war pension on the grounds that my lung damage had to have happened while I was in the war zone and was due to breathing in the chemical soup caused by chemical weapons, depleted uranium and the chemicals released when Hussein set fire to 600 oil wells.
We had no protection other than our NBC suits which were not designed to keep out those chemicals.
We have lived with this legacy since 1991.
We know what the government are capable of and for me, it’s no coincidence that they have listened to people like Aylward and Wessely.
Joe Kane WRITES:
I’m sorry to hear of the abuse you’ve suffered at the hands of the MoD Anne.
Sometimes patients don’t even get as far as the NHS before the psychiatrists have stabbed them in the back.
Psychiatrists like Wessely are also hired by powerful department’s of state, such as the MoD, to prevent even basic medical research into the causes of disease and the hijacking of promising lines of research into effective medical treatments.
By the way, I don’t know if you’ve heard of Prof Hooper.
Here he is in a series of 10 minute 10 online videos of a public lecture of his.
The first video instalment, right from the start, discusses GWS.
Prof Hooper is an unsung hero of the chronically sick and disabled of the UK.
He’s been battling the Psych’s for nearly two decades.
Engaging with M.E. Part 1: Prof Malcolm Hooper
Uploaded by Satori5 on 18 Sep 2007
Slides available here –
(Look for download file ref: 071.)
John McArdle WRITES:
Joe Kane & Anne Selby – No surprise then that Wessely gave a lecture on PTSD and the International Forum in Disability ‘Management’ ‘IFDM2012’ which was alluded to by Aylward in our film (which will be going up soon!Sorry for the delay!) :
SESSION ONE: Opportunities, challenges and best practices
Welcome from the chair
Opening keynote by a Paralympic Athlete
Psychological intervention and motivation
Post traumatic stress syndrome: Prof Simon Wessley, Professor of Epidemiological and Liaison Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
Reintegration of disabled veterans: Challenges, resources and what’s unique in each country:
Marcia Carruthers, President/CEO, Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC); Prof Muriel Westmorland, Former Professor at McMaster University, Advisor to Veterans Affairs Canada Stakeholder Committee and Prof Jonathan Bisson, Director of Research and Development for Cardiff University School of Medicine and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board~ http://www.rsm.ac.uk/academ/ifdm2012.php
BTC & DPAC’s confrontation with Aylward:
A: (Cuts back) They have … but they did not influence me … I’ve always said that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a real tradition (sic) which needs to be addressed and that it is not just a psychological element …
J: Professor Simon Wessley is speaking at this conference.
A: Yeah and he is speaking on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
J: Uh-huh … and he used to speak about ME but nobody will listen to him anymore … and now he’s speaking about PTSD.
The word ‘pernicious‘ doesn’t come close enough!