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Persistent Physical Symptoms Research and Treatment Unit

How our service can help you

Our service is an internationally recognised research and treatment unit, which provides a specialist diagnostic assessment and treatment for people with persistent physical symptoms. This includes fatigue, pain, irritable bowel symptoms and non-cardiac chest pain. We have developed models for understanding and treating persistent physical symptoms and continue to be at the forefront of research and development in this field. We offer specific treatment for chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia as well as other persistent physical symptoms.

We also treat fatigue in the context of long-term conditions such as cancer or if people have finished medical treatment but continue to experience symptoms. Our evidence-based treatments are routinely evaluated. Our goal is to increase the person’s functioning, improve quality of life and wellbeing, reduce the severity of their symptoms and facilitate a return to work or education where possible.

  • Treatment type: Outpatient, Outreach
  • Contact the service

    Site Location: Maudsley Hospital Phone Number: 020 3228 5075
  • Address: Maudsley Hospital,
    Mapother House De Crespigny Park,
    SE5 8AZ
  • Other essential information

  • Conditions: Persistent Physical Symptoms


  • Specialist diagnostic clinical assessment
  • Routine blood tests
  • Referral to other appropriate specialists if necessary
  • Outpatient specialised cognitive behavioural therapy sessions
  • Follow-up at three months
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Guided self-help programme prior to face to face interventions

Eligibility criteria

  • Adolescence and 18 years and older
  • Male or female 
  • Persistent physical symptoms which have not responded to usual treatment (three months or more) 
  • Profound disability where the symptoms are impacting on several aspects of the person’s life 
  • People who frequently attend the GP surgery and are not responding to usual reassurance and advice 
  • Disturbed sleep pattern, for example the person is sleeping during the day or unable to get to sleep at night and has not responded to the usual treatment 


  • Resume daily activities
  • Establish a sleep routine
  • Address associated anxiety or depression
  • Address problematic beliefs which interfere with progress, perfectionism or low self-esteem
  • Explore an individual’s lifestyle and make changes which may help to prevent relapse
  • Enable a graded return to work, addressing long-term sickness issues
  • Agree a discharge plan incorporating a relapse plan

Care Options

  • Outpatient assessment – three hours
  • Activity and sleep management sessions
  • Adolescent assessment outpatient
  • Adolescent cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions
  • Adolescent outreach CBT sessions
  • Adult outreach CBT sessions
  • Adult outpatient CBT sessions
  • CBT – Assessment for patients with long-term conditions (diabetes or cancer) - up to three hours
  • Outpatient CBT treatment for adults with LTC sessions
  • Outpatient psychiatric follow up 
  • Clinical supervision by specialist practitioners – one hour


We are an internationally recognised service providing assessment and evidence-based treatment for patients with persistent physical symptoms, including chronic fatigue.

We welcome referrals and will see:

  • Adults of any age
  • Adolescents aged 11 years and older

We encourage referrals particularly in the following circumstances:

  • Those not responding to guided self-help or first line treatment (IAPT)
  • Complexity or multiple symptoms
  • Co-morbid depression, anxiety or other mental health issues
  • Employment or education at risk
  • Housebound or mobility difficulties
  • Frequent attendances or multiple referrals / specialists involved

Read more: Referrals Persistent Physical Symptoms Unit info for referrers 

Our experts

Trudie Chalder: Read more

Dr Muj Husain: Read more

Clare Grey: Read more


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