Dismay as NHS Grampian reveal further pain clinic delay

Dr Gray's - chronic pain clinic delay
Dr Gray’s – chronic pain clinic delay

CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS in Moray are having to face another delay in their quest for specialised treatment.

NHS Grampian confirmed that it is not likely to happen until February next year – despite a previous pledge that a clinic would reopen before the end of the year.

It was thought that progress had been made in March when it was announced that a special consultant would be based at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin on a permanent basis.

That pledge came after Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, held talks with the chief executive and chairman of the health service. In a letter to the MSP after the meeting NHS Grampian expressed a “commitment to reinstate a pain clinic in Elgin” by December.

After learning that this was not likely to happen now until next year the MSP said: “I am disappointed that this has slipped until February and I am looking forward to an opportunity to discuss the matter further with the chief executive.”

Confirming that he had been invited to chair a meeting between members of the chronic pain support group ‘Affa Sair’, Mr Lochhead added that he had invited NHS Grampian chief executive Malcolm Wright to attend.

He added: “I cannot imagine what the daily lives are like for patients suffering from chronic pain and that is why we need this service restored as soon as possible. I will be taking the opportunity to raise these points at the meeting.”

The pain clinic in Elgin closed in 2011, leaving sufferers to make the 130-mile round trip to Aberdeen for treatment.

Last night an NHS Grampian spokeswoman said the delay was possible because of recruitment difficulties: “February is the most likely starting time because of applicants’ time frames and eligibility to start the position – however, it could still be earlier.”