RAG rating
Document type
Clinical policy
Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB
Output type
Clinical Policies & Evidence-based Interventions

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalitis (CFS & ME) Inpatient Treatment


Not normally funded.

Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) in units out of the local area or for inpatient care is will only be provided in exceptional circumstances following involvement of appropriate local services.
Patients should be diagnosed and managed in a community setting.
Referral for an outpatient secondary care specialist opinion may be required if there is doubt about the diagnosis, or the patient is not improving despite management in primary care.


There is limited high quality evidence relating to the effectiveness of this intervention in CFS.
Guidance on the management of patients is provided in the latest clinical guideline from NICE.
Clinicians should be aware of the NICE clinical guideline on the effective management of patients with CFS. Referrals to in-patient services for CFS will only be considered in exceptional circumstances as effective management is available locally.
Treatments of unproven effectiveness will not normally be provided under the NHS.

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng206 (2021)
Interventions for the treatment and management of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis A-M Bagnall, P Whiting, R Richardson, A J Sowden https://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/11/3/284
Longitudinal study of outcome of chronic fatigue syndrome A Wilson, I Hickie, A Lloyd, D Hadzi-Pavlovic, C Boughton, J Dwyer, D Wakefield https://www.bmj.com/content/308/6931/756.full