A CHRONIC PAIN support group in Moray are to receive support from NHS Grampian who have said they will work with them in the production and distribution of advice leaflets.
The move follows an intervention by Highlands and Moray MSP Douglas Ross, who recently met with leading members of the Affa Sair group and contacted the health authority on their behalf.
Production of information leaflets was a key issue during that meeting – and one that the MSP raised when he contacted the NHS Grampian Chief Executive, Malcolm Wright.
After receiving an ‘encouraging’ reply Mr Ross said: “I was delighted to receive a very positive response from NHS Grampian and they will now work with Affa Sair to produce and distribute their leaflets.
“NHS Grampian clearly recognise the valuable support the group provides to patients throughout Moray who are experiencing chronic pain and I welcome the assurance received that they would be more than happy to help further develop the leaflets produced by the group utilising the NHS Corporate Communications Team.
“The news that NHS Grampian will assist with the distribution of the material to medical practices and health facilities in the Moray area will be a great boost for both the group and patients alike, with perhaps new patients being made aware of the group and the work that they do.
“This information can direct patients to the Facebook group, the online forum and the monthly meetings held by the group in Elgin for those who are able to attend. These new publications could also highlight the existence of the group and the work it does to medical professionals who were perhaps unaware of its existence.
“This is great news for the group and will further develop their communications and links with fellow patients, removing the barrier of social exclusion felt by many who are perhaps limited by mobility or the ability to travel to meetings.
“I look forward to following the progress of this new project for the group as they build greater links with NHS Grampian, links which can surely be a great benefit to both parties with the sharing of knowledge and experiences.”
Affa Sair founder Chris Bridgeford said: “This is a truly remarkable achievement and I am grateful to Mr Ross for his concern and desire to help our members and to have their problems given the attention they deserve.
“This is such a positive step and goes a long way to encourage myself and Jennifer to continue the work we do in trying to provide somewhere accessible to all, where they can unburden themselves of some of the difficulties of living with chronic pain.
“We will look forward to working with the staff at NHS Grampian to enhance and develop our own designed leaflets and to sharing knowledge and experiences which can hopefully be delivered to a wider audience than we have been able to do ourselves so far.”