I write in response to your report (The Argus, December 27) about the 4,500 Sussex adults and children who are affected by the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as ME, who are awaiting the imminent publication of a government report that may change their lives.

The eagerly-awaited report will be the result of many months of effort by a working party of experts set up by the country's chief medical officer to review current knowledge and produce best-practice guidelines to improve the care and treatment for people with CFS/ME.

As a reference group member of the working party, I am aware the report in itself may not lead to change immediately. The CMO's report will, however, do much for serious recognition of the illness and give clear recommendations for future work and research.

It is very important the local health authorities review the present services available for this previously neglected patient group, many of whom are housebound.

In our experience, many doctors do recognise the seriousness of CFS/ME and do their best to treat and support their patients but specialist services are far from adequate.

People with CFS/ME are not asking for special treatment, only attention equal to that afforded automatically to patients with other chronic neurological illnesses.

In the meantime, charities such as ours continue to inform, support and represent those affected. Our web site is www.measussex.org.uk.

-Colin Barton, chairman, Sussex ME/CFS Society