Patients & Visitors

Specialist Treatment for Children & Young People with Fatigue

B11

About the Paediatric Specialist Fatigue Service

COVID-19 and Fatigue Treatment Service appointments:

We are currently offering limited face-to-face appointments with our clinicians.


Our leaflet about Skype appointments can be found here. You will be asked to set up your account in advance of your appointment and to email us details so that our clinicians can contact you at the agreed time.

If you have any queries, please contact the team by email at 

UK national and local Fatigue treatment

UK mapOur specialist treatment service can provide assessment, diagnosis and treatment programmes for children and young people with Fatigue anywhere in the UK.

The team comprises specialist consultant paediatricians, Psychologists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, and is led by Professor Esther Crawley, one of the few consultant paediatricians specialising in Chronic Fatigue in the country.


Note: We accept referrals from across the UK.

Why choose us?

Disabling fatigue is common after infections (as in Long-COVID) or in long-term conditions (cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, etc). Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or myalgic encephalomylopathy is also relatively common in children, affecting at least 1% of teenagers. ME/CFS is probably the largest cause of long-term absence from school. Despite this, there are very few teams in the UK who specialise in seeing children with long-term disabling fatigue, and even fewer who are able to see severely affected children in their home. We offer specialist individualised treatment tailored for children, adolescents and their families.

Clinical Experts

Professor Crawley and her team see over 450 children with Chronic Fatigue a year and provide a specialist service for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of any child or young person who has Chronic Fatigue and needs help.

We have particular expertise in helping and supporting children who are severely affected, as well as children whose case may be complicated by more than one problem. The outlook for children with Chronic Fatigue who access appropriate treatment is excellent, with most making a good or complete recovery. We therefore aim for recovery.

Evidence Based Treatment

We believe that all clinical care should have an evidence base. We have yet to study the revised NICE guidelines in detail. In the meantime, our renowned service will continue to offer children and young people specialist and individualised treatment for their fatigue, using research evidence, following guidance and by talking to our patients.

Award Winning Service!

One of our excellent team providing care within the Paediatric Fatigue Treatment Service was awarded the RUH Chief Executive's Customer Care award in December 2018. They were nominated by the parents of a young person they had worked with over a two-year period. The Staff Recognition Committee was impressed by their dedication and kindness, and noted that their support to the young person and family was obviously greatly appreciated. The family described our team member as providing support when they were low and the praise they all needed to help beat the illness.

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Current Research Activity

We are currently running a number of research studies, which include:

CADENCE Study

This study aims to assess whether raised CRP (a blood test used as a marker of inflammation) is associated with probable depression in children and young people with Chronic Fatigue. We are conducting this study because low mood is a common problem for young people with Chronic Fatigue and it can make life more challenging for young people already experiencing difficulties. We would like to find better treatments for these children and young people.

We are therefore seeking consent to link blood test results with the results of certain questionnaires completed during admission to the service. Beyond those completed for routine referral into the service, no further blood tests or questionnaires are undertaken. If you are a participant of FITNET-NHS or Wellbeing (DDS) study and do not consent for your data to be used in this way then please contact us at ar16623@bristol.ac.uk

ExFACTR Study

ExFACTR explores the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as an alternative treatment for children and young people (11-18) with Chronic Fatigue. We aim to offer ACT to up to 50 young people who have been in the service for more than 12 months or have received more than 12 sessions of treatment. We will invite some families within the study to discuss their experiences of ACT with a researcher. Recruitment will close in September 2021.

POMME Study

We are currently undertaking a study to help us measure health in Children with Chronic Fatigue by using a new style questionnaire. Further details are available here.

Our service featured in mainstream media

FITNET-NHS Clinical Trial featured in national media (November 2016)

Case Notes BBC Radio 4 (2007)

As part of a series of programmes on BBC Radio 4 looking at this condition, Case Notes presenter Dr Mark Porter accompanied Professor Crawley in her clinic to find out more about Chronic Fatigue and meet some of the children who have been affected by this condition.

You can listen to the Case Notes programme on the Radio 4 website.

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