Parliamentary Question | WHO classification of CFS | 11 February 2013

Crispin Blunt (Conservative MP for Reigate) asked the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the World Health Organisation’s classification of chronic fatigue syndrome as a neurological disease; and if he will make a statement.

In a written answer provided on 11 February 2013, Minister for Care Services Norman Lamb (Lib Dem) replied:

The World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) classifies chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) under neurological disorders at Reference 93.3 and uses the terms post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVS) and benign myalgic encephalomyelitis. The Department accepts this classification and recognises CFS/ME as a neurological condition of unknown origin.

As the symptoms of CFS/ME resemble those of other forms of debilitating illness, we acknowledge that it is not easy to diagnose single cases of the condition. Clinicians are responsible, within their area of competence, for diagnosing medical conditions and it is not the Department’s policy to advise the medical profession on clinical practice.