OAP battles for return of clinic

A RAINWORTH woman who suffers with crippling pain in her knee cap is leading a campaign against the withdrawal of treatment at an acupuncture clinic.

Theresa Pruszak (66) is unhappy health bosses have axed the service at King Mill Hospital’s pain clinic, where she had been receiving treatment for the past six years

Nottinghamshire County NHS Trust has opted to no longer fund acupuncture treatment except for patients with pain in the lower back following a review of the service.

But Theresa, of Southwell Avenue, says the acupuncture helped her become pain-free for the first time since she had her knee cap removed 30 years ago.

Now following a letter published in Chad where Theresa asked readers who had benefited from the treatment to write in against its closure, nearly 30 other patients have contacted her to express their opposition.

Said Theresa: “I have always been a stubborn person but I just feel so angry because they say it is set in stone. Nobody asked us if it was working or not. We were just given that piece of paper.

“It was a well attended clinic and the waiting room was never empty.

“When it worked the acupuncture was very good.

“I used to have a six-week intensive course and by the sixth week the pain was gone.

“At the moment if I take pain killers it goes away but I have a high pain threshold.

“Sometimes I am swinging on the lamp shades and climbing the walls. Giving birth is nothing compared to the pain in my left leg.”

Speaking this week, Theresa said she had also received a letter from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) saying acupuncture would only be provided for sufferers of lower back pain.

“It makes me feel very angry,” added Theresa.

“Everybody says they are backing me and are still in a lot of pain. I am not going to give up - my heels are dug in.”

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer has backed Theresa in her campaign.

“If it stops their pain who are we to argue,” he said.

“Whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant because these people think it is stopping their pain.”

A NHS Nottinghamshire County spokesman said it buys health services on behalf of the local population and part of its responsibilities was to continually review those services.

Said the spokesman: “After reviewing the clinical evidence available and working with clinicians at the local hospitals it was found that there was either limited or no strong evidence of the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture in managing pain.

“The exception to this was use of acupuncture in managing lower back pain, which is recommended by NICE as clinically effective when given as a short term intervention.”

The spokesman said NHS Nottinghamshire County would review the decision if new clinical evidence and NICE guidance were published.

“If patients are affected by this decision and have concerns, they should talk to their GP or Pain Management Doctor,” said the spokesman.