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Back pain sufferers fear for injections
CHRONIC back pain sufferers in York fighting for the return of routine relief injections fear there will be no change in policy once the out going PCT hands spending powers to local GPs.
The York and District Pain Management Support group said the region’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which will take over the purse strings of North Yorkshire’s billion pound NHS budget in April, looks unlikely to reintroduce the treatment due to a lack of cash.
Gordon Hart, chairman of the pain management group, said: “Disappointingly we are informed by the incoming CCG that on takeover they have been committed, by the outgoing PCT, to making £10m of savings.
“Consequently they will not be reviewing this therapy or the benefit it provides to chronic pain sufferers who have had access to all the other treatments available from the NHS without obtaining significant relief.
“So at last it is out in the open. It is not a question of the efficacy of these injections, it is all about cost savings. So much for the promised end to post code lotteries.”
Since the routine prescribing of pain relief injections was withdrawn by North Yorkshire and York PCT in 2009, many sufferers have been forced to pay privately for the treatment.
Dr Mark Hayes, accountable officer for Vale of York CCG, said: “As the new commissioners of healthcare in the area, and in preparation for when we take full responsibility for commissioning next year, we are already looking at what healthcare services are required to meet local needs.
“Whilst we are not yet in a position to say whether this will affect the routine commissioning of back pain injections, we will ensure that the services we commissioning are the most clinically cost-effective for our population.”.