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Essex Chronic Fatigue Service

The Essex Chronic Fatigue Service (CFS) is a county-wide service run from Southend University Hospital, with outpatient assessments and therapy sessions held throughout Essex.

We believe that the best care possible involves making an accurate diagnosis. We assess our patients using an integrated approach, and then decide with the patient what approach has the best chance of restoring their health.

Before our assessment we will request that your GP carries out appropriate blood and other tests to ensure no other cause is found for your ill health. 

Our treatment aims to work with you towards recovery and management of your symptoms. Treatments offered by us are based on evidence from research into CFS (also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines which are set for patient care by the government.

Available therapies |  Frequently asked questions  |  Further information on CFS

What is CFS? 

The cause of the condition is as yet unknown. What we do know is that it is a condition consisting of various signs and symptoms, the main one being persistent and excessive tiredness or fatigue made worse by activity, and not alleviated by rest. 

Other symptoms may include

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Sore throats
  • Tender lymph glands
  • Headaches
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Memory & concentration problems
  • Dizziness & poor balance
  • Digestive disturbances

What can I expect from the service?

After we receive your completed GP referral we will invite you to attend for a comprehensive assessment looking at all biological, psychological and social aspects.  This will enable us to make a diagnosis and discuss further treatment options. 

For answers to common questions, please see our FAQ page.

For links to additional resources, please see our further information page.

Follow up treatment

If you are diagnosed you will be invited to attend a one off Fatigue Management Session and also placed on a waiting list for your selected 1:1 therapy at your chosen clinic and will be contacted as soon as an appointment becomes available.

Treatment sessions last up to one hour and may be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or further apart.

Please have a look at our therapies page for more detailed information.

Who is in the team? 

  • Consultant
  • Specialist cognitive behavioural therapists
  • Specialist occupational therapists
  • Access to physiotherapists
  • Service manager
  • Administration team

Assessment clinics and therapy sessions are held at the following locations: 

  • Benfleet (assessment & therapy).
  • Ongar  (assessment & therapy).
  • Colchester  (assessment & therapy).

Contact the CFS team 

Rehabilitation Department, Southend University Hospital 

Telephone 01702 385247 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 08.30 and 16.30

and Friday between 08.00 and 16.00

Outside of these hours please leave a message and we will get back to you.

You can also contact us by email cfsservice@southend.nhs.uk 

Fax: 01702 508511

"Thanks again to you and your team for responding so quickly" March 2014