NRES confirm that Alastair Gibson is not providing any research intervention with the children – 4th March 2011

Thank you for your further correspondence on this matter. NRES is sensitive to the fact that this study has caused great concern to some within the ME community and NRES has received extensive correspondence on the study and the intervention itself. Relevant information has been placed on the web-site at

by the study team. NRES has, as described in standard operating procedures 9.86

referred the matter back to the ethics committee who originally approved the study. The committee discussed the application again at their meeting on 2 December 2010 and confirmed the favourable opinion on the study.

The role of the research ethics service is to consider the ethical aspects of research applications and approval from an ethics committee is one part of the approval process required within research governance in the UK. The actual decisions to approve applications lie with the research ethics committees which operate within the NRES. Unless new information is brought to our attention then our procedures for considering and approving the application are exhausted at this stage.

The application form which details the involvement of parties in the study is available on the University of Bristol website but I would confirm that Mr Gibson is not providing any research intervention with the children.

NRES does not intend to issue any further apology and the statement provided is correct that the SW 2 REC was provided with incorrect information.

I would though like to take opportunity to assure you that all information received by NRES will continue to be assessed and if there is new or additional information brought to our attention of relevance to the ethical decision made by the ethics committee on the research application then standard operating procedures would apply as per section 9.86.  It is felt that the other matters raised in your correspondence are outside the remit of the REC>

Kind regards.

Joan Kirkbride
Head of Operations, England
National Research Ethics Service (NRES), National Patient Safety Agency


The above was in reply to our letter of 8th February 2011 –


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