§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much his Department has spent on research into the role of general practitioners in the diagnosis and treatment of ME in the last three years; 
(2) how much his Department has spent on research into (a) the psychological treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and (b) the physical causes of chronic fatigue syndrome in each of the last three years; 
(3) how much support was given by the Medical Research Council for research into ME and chronic fatigue syndrome in each of the last three years; 
(4) how much his Department has spent on research into the role of general practitioners in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome in each of the last three years; 
(5) how much his Department has spent on research into (a) the psychological treatment of ME and (b) the physical causes of ME in each of the last three years. 
§ Ms Jowell
The information is not available in the form requested. Different people in different places have recognised a variety of outbreaks of "related" conditions of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS)/(ME) over the last 35 years. However, there is no general agreement about which term should be used. There are advantages and disadvantages in using either the term CFS or the term ME and we will continue to use both.
The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC), an independent body which receives its grant-in-aid from the Office of Science and Technology, which is part of the Department of Trade and Industry. Priorities for funding research in the Department are set very carefully, based on the burden of disease and other criteria, and, as such, bids for conducting research into CFS/ME will always be considered.
The MRC currently provides support for one small project grant in the area of CFS/ME. This is being undertaken by Dr. R. K. Morriss at the University of Manchester and is entitled "The role of noradrenaline in the neuropsychological pathogenesis of the chronic 237W fatigue syndrome". The total amount awarded is £37,000. The MRC is always willing to consider new ideas for research and will consider applications on their scientific merits.
Another research project funded by the Department is entitled "Rehabilitation in the chronic fatigue syndrome—a controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural therapy". This study is complete and considered the question of whether cognitive behaviour therapy can reduce disability in CFS/ME. It was funded by South Thames Regional Office. Funding was for £59,034.
The Department has been funding a research project through the National Health Service research and development programme called "Should General Practitioners manage chronic fatigue syndrome? A controlled trial". This is part of the national programme on primary/secondary care interface. It is an ongoing research project. The NHS funding for this project is £64,433.
In addition, the NHS Standing Group on Health Technology has recently identified the latest series of priority areas for which it anticipates commissioning primary research or systematic reviews. One of the topics identified is management strategies for CFS.