Hopes raised as questions posed over lack of chronic pain unit in Moray

Dr Gray’s – no unit for the treatment of chronic pain

New hope has been raised for people suffering from severe pain in Moray with a pledge from the local MSP to seek an urgent review by NHS Grampian for the restoration of a chronic pain unit at Dr Gray’s Hospital.

Richard Lochhead MSP has said that it was an issue raised this month by a constituent attending one of his surgeries, when it was brought to his attention that there has been no pain clinic in Moray.

For some patients the journey to attend such a clinic at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary was often impossible due to their medical condition.

The information passed to the MSP came as he is preparing to meet the Interim Chief Executive of NHS Grampian, Malcolm Wright, to discuss challenges faced by Dr Gray’s and the services provided locally to people in Moray.

The meeting has been arranged for March 6, with Mr Lochhead compiling a list of topics that he intends to raise to ensure that his constituents and the hospital are receiving the best possible level of care from NHS Grampian.

He has also written to the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Chronic Pain to seek information as to what work is being undertaken by the Group in order to gain a better understanding of the national picture.

Mr Lochhead said: “I was shocked to learn of the level of discomfort my constituent is experiencing and the minimal level of support he receives due to his geographical location in the West of Moray.

“Clearly it is not good enough for anyone to have to cope with significant chronic pain without access to adequate support close to home. Sadly, there are instances of people ‘slipping through the net’ and I pledged to raise this issue in a bid to rectify the situation.

“I am becoming increasingly aware that this is a problem facing a number of people in Moray and I intend to discuss this matter with the Interim Chief Executive of NHS Grampian when we meet next month to establish what action can be taken to better support people who suffer from chronic pain.

“We are very fortunate to have excellent facilities and staff at Dr Gray’s and it is key that we ensure the necessary services are offered to those who need them.

“We need to explore how to resurrect pain clinics in Moray and we may also need to think of innovative ways to deliver advice such as the use of Skype to ensure that local patients receive the best possible service from our NHS.”

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