Patients with severe ME have little or no access to specialist treatment, Southampton researchers have found.

A University of Southampton study says one in three NHS trusts across England do not provide specialist care for people suffering from the condition, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.

ME affects around 250,000 people in the UK and symptoms include debilitating physical and mental fatigue/pain which can lead to suffers becoming housebound, needing wheelchairs or becoming dependent on carers.

The study was led by Clare McDermott, doctoral research fellow at the university, who suffered from the condition when she was younger.

The Southampton team is now conducting a pilot study evaluating a community-based initiative to help the most severely affected people, with results expected in 2016.