A woman says she needs to take morphine “as if it's going out of fashion” has been told she needs to wait more than a year and a half for a pain management appointment.
She has been put on a waiting list for steroid injections into the site of the pain which can only be administered at Wrexham Maelor but faces a lengthy wait on top of an already arduous journey to get to this point.
Linda said: “I've been told I'm on a waiting list and it's 19 months until I'm seen.
“I've already waited a year and a half so we'll be getting on for nearly four years by the time it finally comes around.
“We all know the NHS in dire straits but this is ridiculous
“It's not a big operation or anything, but out of interest I found out what it was to do privately and it's just over a thousand pounds.
“I've done my best to help myself between the Doctors and contacting the Welsh Government but here we are again.
“The last wait was seven months, then this doctor saw me and put me on the urgent list in January, then my GP suggested I find out where I was on this list.
“So I called the booking clerk and then I that was when I found out it was so long.”
Linda is a former care manager and has been seeking treatment for her condition for some time.
She was first sent up to the Walton Centre in Liverpool who then sent her to the orthopaedic department at Wrexham Maelor. She even paid out £750 to pay for an MRI scan to speed things up.
The Health Board say the current waiting time is 36 weeks.
“I'm taking morphine like it's going out of fashion which my GP is really not happy about, and I've got painkilling patches on my hip,” Linda continued.
“I'm not eating properly and I'm down to five and a half stone now. I'm trying my best as we all do.
“I know I'm not the only one waiting for something, but I'm completely desperate. It's no wonder they get people who don't want to live any more.
“I don't want to be famous and I don't want attention, I'm just desperate for this to be sorted.
“I kicked off about it last year and I went up to Liverpool to the Neurology Department at the Walton Centre.
“Then they sent me to orthopaedics, I've been sent from England to Wales and everywhere in between before I spoke to this recent doctor.
“It's over a year and a half and quite honestly, I've been so down about it. I had been preparing myself for it to be three or four months and I thought that would be hard
“I couldn't cry as my dog gets upset when I cry, but I am desperate.”
A statement from Betsi Cadwalladr University Health Board said: “There is very high level of demand on our Pain Management Services, and the current waiting time for treatment is 36 weeks.
“We are ensuring that patients with the highest clinical priority are seen in a timely way in order to avoid the sometimes lengthy waits for patients which we have previously seen in Wrexham.
“We have made provisions for additional in-house services in order to try to meet demand, and are looking at other ways of reducing out waiting list.
"Our Pain Team and Therapy services are developing ways of providing earlier treatment for patients, and we are developing extended physiotherapy within primary care to offer further pain management to patients with musculoskeletal pain.”
See full story in the Free Press