Journal of IiME Volume 5 Issue 1 (May 2011) The Involvement of the PACE Trial Principal Investigators and the Director of the Clinical Trials Unit with the Department for Work and Pensions by Margaret Williams Following publication of the PACE Trial results and mindful of the fact that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was a co-funder of the trial, it may be salutary to reflect afresh on the involvement of Principal Investigators Professors Peter White and Michael Sharpe and the Director of the Clinical Trials Unit (Professor Simon Wessely) with the DWP. The extracts below are from recent DWP/Atos Healthcare Training Programmes for medical practitioners carrying out assessments on State benefit claimants with ME/CFS. They graphically illustrate the pervasive influence of the Wessely School‟s biased beliefs about ME/CFS at the Department for Work and Pensions and the degree of involvement of Professors White, Sharpe and Wessely (a depth of involvement which may indicate that in setting up the PACE Trial, they were not openminded clinicians seeking to help patients but rather that the PACE Trial was mounted (to quote an influential expert in appraisal of biases in medical research): - “not to answer a question, but in order to demonstrate a pre-required answer” (Why most published research findings are false. J.Ioannidis; PloS Medicine 2005:2:8:e124 – note that this article by Ioannidis is the most down-loaded in the journal‟s history). MEDICAL SERVICES provided on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions Training and Development: Continuing Medical Education Programme: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Guidelines for the Disability Analyst Version 4; April 2009. Updated by Dr Peter Ellis. Version 1 written by Dr Tony Fisher. “The authors and Medical Services gratefully acknowledged the contribution of the authors (Professor S Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) Wessely, Professor PD White and Professor M Aylward) of the enclosed articles and their kind permission to reproduce them in this module. In addition the author would like to express his gratitude to Dr P Dewis for his helpful comments and suggestions”. For more information on Professor Mansel Aylward and his stance on ME/CFS, see pages 428 ff at http://www.investinme.org/Article400%20Magi cal%20Medicine.htm Together with (then) Dr Aylward, Dr Peter Dewis from the Disability Living Advisory Board authored the Disability Handbook before Dewis became Chief Medical Officer at UNUMProvident in July 2000 after 16 years at the Department of Social Security (now the DWP). In 2002, Dewis wrote about the patients whose claims management posed difficulties for UNUMProvident; in the company‟s Report “Trends in Health and Disability”, he stated: “I have commissioned a number of papers from leaders within the medical profession whose disciplines are particularly relevant to those people…whose claims most frequently pose us difficulties in their management. “A paper from Michael Sharpe has reviewed the developments, not only in chronic fatigue syndrome, but also the range of disorders where the symptoms experienced by individual patients appear to be out of proportion with the physical findings or objective evidence of disease. “Mansel Aylward who is Chief Medical Adviser to the Department of (sic) Work and Pensions has set out the current trends in government strategy relating to both health and social security. Continued page 35 www.investinme.org Page 34/58

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