PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM Chronic pain in Moray have been left disappointed yet again by NHS Grampian who have confirmed further delays in establishing a specialised clinic.
Currently those requiring treatment need to make the long journey to Aberdeen – but hopes were raised after months of negotiation and delay with NHS Grampian first saying a new clinic in Moray would be established in March last year.
That, however, was further delayed to the end of the year before a further delay to this month – now, sufferers have been told that they must wait even long because of yet another delay into March, a full year after the original promised date.
Richard Lochhead MSP has taken a particular interest in the case and pressed NHS Grampian for action – so he was surprised and disappointed to learn of the further delay, saying: “The Affa Sair Group, which is a support group for sufferers of Chronic Pain, raised concerns with me following word of a potential delay with the long-promised Pain Clinic at Dr Gray’s, which was due to re-open in February.
“I immediately contacted the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian seeking urgent clarification as to whether things are on track for the clinic’s reinstatement. NHS Grampian has confirmed that the clinic is now set to open in March as opposed to February.
“The reason given is a shortage of clinic space – but they assured me that progress has been made and that clinic templates are now being worked on.
“Clearly any delay is far from ideal and is undoubtedly disappointing however I think at this stage the main focus should be on getting the clinic open as soon as possible and to avoid any further delays.”
Last night the chief administrator for the Affa Sair group, Chris Bridgeford, told insideMoray: “I hope this is the final delay because it greatly concerns me, not only speaking for the pain group but also as a Moray patient, that the Aberdeen Management do not communicate with their counterparts in Dr Gray’s.
“Only on Monday I was told by the Service Manager at Dr Gray’s that “to the very best of her knowledge the expectation for a start in February appeared to be on track and that room allocation has been agreed with set up of clinics being progressed”.
“Elgin Management have been extremely supportive of my group and I feel they have been put in an embarrassing position by Aberdeen. My group will naturally be very concerned that we may experience an even further delay when March is come and gone.
“The establishment of pain services in Elgin means a great deal to my members who all suffer from very debilitating and painful conditions.
“Patients have waited a long time to get to this stage and I will continue to keep a close interest in developments and have asked NHS Grampian to keep me up to date with progress.”
NHS Grampian have confirmed that the “slight delay” was caused by their being unable to secure clinic space at Dr Gray’s, but added that they were working on confirming a start date in March.