Chronic pain campaigners recruit local MSP in clinic bid

Douglas Ross flanked by Chris Bridgford
Douglas Ross flanked by Chris Bridgeford and Jennifer Jeynes at their meeting yesterday.

THE GROUP REPRESENTING chronic pain sufferers and which successfully campaigned for the reopening of a clinic in Moray have receiving backing from a local MSP.

Douglas Ross met with members of the Affa Sair group established 15 months ago on social media – and which rapidly grew into a focus for the many people suffering in silence.

Most had to travel to Aberdeen for regular treatment – however, their highlighting the issue did see a service reopening at Dr Gray’s in March. That, however, is only a partial service – now the group are aiming to have a full clinic established local allowing more treatments to be readily accessible.

Follow the meeting on Tuesday, Tory MSP Mr Ross said: “I was delighted to meet with Chris Bridgeford and Jennifer Jeynes from the group and to hear at first hand their continuing concerns over the provision of services locally for those suffering chronic pain conditions.

“Whilst it was very welcome news in March of this year that the service was being restored at Dr Gray’s there is a real frustration amongst local people that they still have to travel to Aberdeen for treatment or therapies. That journey is bad enough for those in good health, so you can imagine what it must be like in chronic pain and after treatment which itself can also be painful.

“Chronic pain conditions can have a devastating effect leading to patients feeling very isolated at home and the Affa Sair facebook group and website is an excellent platform for keeping in touch with others or just using as a resource to find further information.

“Since the meeting I have lodged Parliamentary Questions with the Scottish Government about chronic pain services. With approximately 935,000 people in Scotland living with a chronic pain condition, this is an issue which needs to be taken seriously by politicians and the Parliament.

“One of the concerns raised by people throughout Moray is the waiting times experienced for follow-up consultation or treatment in the NHS Grampian area and I will be bringing this matter to the attention of the Chief Executive of NHS Grampian and seeking his comment on both this and the service provision at Dr Gray’s.

“There is a lot to do to ensure those with chronic pain get the diagnosis, treatment and support they need no matter where in Scotland they live.

“I look forward to working with Affa Sair in the future to ensure people in Moray get the best service possible.”