July 6, 2008

Frustrated Patient Seeks Help in India


Spinal patient Mohammad Zamir is flying to India for treatment after waiting more than six months for an NHS procedure.

He is spending about pounds2,000 on travelling abroad for the injection he needs to treat a prolapsed disc.

The 38-year-old, of Pleydell Street, Sneyd Green, Stoke-on- Trent, says he has lost his pounds4,000-a-month interpreter job due to being immobile and in pain for so long.

He plans to apply for compensation for loss of earnings.

And Mr Zamir, a father-of-five, says he is flying out today, because he cannot wait any longer.

Mr Zamir said: "When this first happened in December I was told I was an emergency case, but I still don't have a date for my injection.

"For the first few weeks I couldn't even walk to the toilet.

"Now I'm on 28 tablets a day, I'm still in pain and suffering side effects of lack of concentration, vomiting and drowsiness.

"I have been unable to work so I've had to borrow pounds25,000 to keep my family going. I used to be very active and would work from 8am to midnight.

"It's been very hard for my young children because I can't play with them anymore and they worry about me.

"All I can do is lie down and they have to be quiet because I can't stand noise.

"I just want some normality again for me and my family. One injection will do that, I can't understand why it's taking so long. The health authority is playing games with my life."

Mr Zamir met a consultant spinal surgeon at Leighton Hospital on May 9 and his doctor at Moorcroft Medical Centre received a letter from the surgeon on May 28 promising an epidural and pain management programme "as soon as we possibly can".

But since then Mr Zamir says he has heard nothing.

Health bosses said spinal surgery cases were taken over from Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in March.

They said new systems have been introduced in an effort to reduce waiting times.

Asked specifically about Mt Zamir's case, a spokesman said: "Salford Royal is committed to reducing previous waiting times and has introduced a new approach to running its spinal service called a 'clinical assessment and treatment model'.

"This means a commitment to new patients receiving any diagnostics like X-rays or MRI scans within two weeks of their referral letter.

"Should patients then require a follow-up appointment after the consultant has assessed their results, they would then be seen within four weeks."

(c) 2008 Sentinel, The (Stoke-on-Trent UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.