What is CFS/ME?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a complex condition and there is, as yet, no consensus on a single cause. CFS/ME affects people in different ways and no two people experience the illness in the same way.

What are the symptoms?

The prominent symptom for most people is feeling extremely tired (fatigue) and generally unwell (malaise) after minimal effort, which can make it hard to do everyday tasks and activities. People with CFS/ME can also have headaches, sleep problems, muscle pain and problems concentrating. The pattern of a person's symptoms, and their severity, can vary from day to day, or even in the same day. Some people have relatively mild symptoms, while others have a serious illness that severely affects their everyday lives and their families. The illness may last a long time (NICE, 2007).

How to access our service

GPs within the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area can refer adult patients to the CFS/ME service using the referral form at the bottom of this page. Referrals are triaged and appropriate patients are invited to attend an appointment at Botolph Bridge Community Health Centre, Peterborough for an initial assessment. At the appointment, patients are assessed and confirmation of diagnosis is made by a specialist clinician based on the preliminary diagnosis from the referring GP. 

Where is the service provided?

The initial appointment with the specialist clinician is held at:
Botolph Community Health Centre, Nene Valley Park, Sugar Way, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 9RT

Occupational therapy is offered at the following clinics: 

Botolph Community Health Centre, Nene Valley Park, Sugar Way, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 9RT

Brookfields Hospital, 351 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3DF

Doddington Hospital, Benwick Road, Doddington, March, Cambridgeshire, PE15 0UG

The Maple Centre, 6 Oak Drive, Huntingdon, PE29 7HN

The therapy team

The therapy team consists of a Specialist Nurse Practitioner and three Specialist Occupational Therapists. To facilitate effective management of the condition, the therapy team will aim to establish a supportive and collaborative relationship with the person with CFS/ME and their family/carers.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy provides practical support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This helps to increase people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life. Occupation refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity. This could be essential to day-to-day tasks such as self-care, work or leisure (College of Occupational Therapists, 2011).

What the specialist service offers

The team is committed to delivering evidence based treatment, approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the management of CFS/ME. Patients are offered individual occupational therapy sessions at one of the therapy clinics in Peterborough, Cambridge, Doddington and Huntingdon. Therapy may last for up to 12 months, depending on the degree to which CFS/ME effects a person's functioning and daily life. Telephone and email support can also be provided when face-to-face contact is difficult and in-between therapy sessions.

Self help

The aim of therapy is to work with patients through the stages of the therapy programme and provide people with the necessary skills and strategies to self-manage the long term condition effectively. This is jointly agreed with them based on individual needs. Please see the chart in the bookshelf section at the bottom of this page for more information.

There are also a number of self-help booklets available at the bottom of this page to guide you about the changes you may need to make in your daily pattern of activity, rest/relaxation, exercise and sleep. There is evidence this will support improvement with symptom management of CFS/ME. Additional booklets about diet, memory and concentration, information for partners, friend and relatives, information for employers and patient support groups and benefits information are also available at the bottom of this page.

Contact details

CFS/ME Service, Botolph Bridge Community Health Centre, Nene Valley Park, Sugar Way, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 9RT

T 0330 726 0077.
E cpm-tr.cfsme@nhs.net

If you have any questions about the services or would like to make a referral you can contact the team on 0330 726 0077.

Days / hours of operation - 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Feedback on our service

We would welcome your feedback on the CFS/ME service. Please click on the following link to complete the Trust Patient Experience and/or Carer Experience Survey www.cpft.nhs.uk/help/friends-and-family-.htm

Do you need an interpreter?

If you need an interpreter during your appointment / visit, please contact us on 01733 774583 with as much notice as possible. We will do our best to arrange this. The services of an interpreter are usually free of charge. If you have any concerns about this service or suggestions for improvements, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service Freephone 0800 376 0075 (office hours). A confidential email service is also available at: pals@cpft.nhs.uk

For free confidential health advice and information in a different format such as in large print or in a different language please contact the CFS/ME service using the details provided.




The page was last updated on 13 August 2018 by Mark.Cole.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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