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Hospital governors: PCT has let patients down over pain service
HOSPITAL governors have fired a parting shot at the delivery of pain clinic services.
From next month the pain clinic will no longer operate from the Dorchester hospital as the transfer to a new provider begins.
The Dorset HeatlthCare University NHS Foundation Trust is set to take on the delivery of the main management services.
But the new community based service will not start in West Dorset until June, with patients requiring injections for chronic pain having to travel to Bournemouth in the intervening period.
At a meeting of Dorset County Hospital’s council of governors, there were criticisms of the way the service, which was delivered at the hospital but funded by the primary care trust, had been handled in recent years.
Governor Andy Hutchings said it was unacceptable that the PCT had failed to ensure that the new provider was ready to take on the service on time and patients were being forced to travel to Bournemouth for their injections.
He said: “When the PCT gave the contract to the provider it should have ensured it was a provider who was going to take the service on from day one and provide a pain service for this area, not have people having to travel all the way to Bournemouth”
Fellow governor Michel Hooper-Immins has been campaigning on behalf of pain clinic patients for several years.
He said: “I have been talking about this for two-and-a-half years.
“The situation has been unsatisfactory the whole way through.”
Governor Derek Julian added: “The PCT has let the patients down.”
Amanda Gallaher, the Primary Care Trust’s representative on the council of governors, responded: “On behalf of the PCT I can only apologise for the less than quality service patients within the pain service have experienced.
“The problems came through fairly late and we have sprung into actions but it does take a long time to mobilise a completely new community service.
“I can only apologise for the poor patients who I completely appreciate are suffering considerable pain.”
She added: “I believe we will have a better service going forward.”
Governors agreed to write a letter to the PCT expressing their disappointment at the way pain patients had been treated.
They also requested that the PCT funds travel for patients having to go to Bournemouth for injections before the new provider is in place.