The ArgusPostcode lottery for Sussex patients with back pain (From The Argus)

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Postcode lottery for Sussex patients with back pain

Patients with painful back problems are being forced to pay for treatment because it is not available on the NHS.

A new study has revealed a postcode lottery for Sussex with patients in some parts of the county being referred for osteopathy by their primary care trust while those in neighbouring areas are not.

NHS West Sussex referred more than 1,800 patients over the last year while its counterparts in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex do not pay for the treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) recommends GPs should refer patients with low back pain for a course of manual therapies, including osteopathy.

A spokeswoman for NHS Brighton and Hove said it offered patients a variety of treatment that covered all aspects of back pain, so osteopathy was not necessary.

She said: “NHS Brighton and Hove funds the complete range of treatments for lower back pain described in the Nice guidance, including spinal manipulation and acupuncture.

“Our physiotherapy service employs many staff who are qualified and experienced in the delivery of these treatments and, coupled with short waiting times, provide an exceptional service to all patients irrespective of income.”

The British Osteopathic Society has published the study into primary care trust referrals around the country.

Have you been affected by a postcode lottery? Tell us below.

Comments (9)

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5:35pm Thu 14 Oct 10

hannahpants says...

I am 27 yrs old and have suffered with chronic back pain for the last 4 years. If I was to write every detail of my NHS history in me trying to get some help with this, it would be an essay, so in short I will explain quickly. I have changed GP'S 4 times, yes FOUR in the hopes of finding one who would actually get me some progress. During all this I have paid hundreds of pounds in private treatment - I have tried physio, chiro, osteopaths, acupuncture, massage, none of which has helped. All I really want is a scan. But as a physio (a friend) has told me, your GP will do everything they can to NOT refer you anywhere due to the expenses to their surgery. Instead I am left with boxes of painkillers and the feeling of a 27 year old in a 70 year olds body. I am currently waiting for an x-ray appointment. Maybe it's got lost in the post, again.
Anyone help me?!
I am 27 yrs old and have suffered with chronic back pain for the last 4 years. If I was to write every detail of my NHS history in me trying to get some help with this, it would be an essay, so in short I will explain quickly. I have changed GP'S 4 times, yes FOUR in the hopes of finding one who would actually get me some progress. During all this I have paid hundreds of pounds in private treatment - I have tried physio, chiro, osteopaths, acupuncture, massage, none of which has helped. All I really want is a scan. But as a physio (a friend) has told me, your GP will do everything they can to NOT refer you anywhere due to the expenses to their surgery. Instead I am left with boxes of painkillers and the feeling of a 27 year old in a 70 year olds body. I am currently waiting for an x-ray appointment. Maybe it's got lost in the post, again. Anyone help me?! hannahpants
  • Score: 0

5:40pm Thu 14 Oct 10

OP8 says...

hannahpants - try Bowen Technique. I had a severe injury to my back as a child and after years of various treatments including all the above, this is what really worked for me. I had a couple of sessions a couple of years ago and haven't had anything like the same levels of pain or lock-ups since, highly recommend. It's not on the NHS though
hannahpants - try Bowen Technique. I had a severe injury to my back as a child and after years of various treatments including all the above, this is what really worked for me. I had a couple of sessions a couple of years ago and haven't had anything like the same levels of pain or lock-ups since, highly recommend. It's not on the NHS though OP8
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Thu 14 Oct 10

Betty Blue says...

Ballroom dancing that helps sometimes.
A neighbour of mine suffered from back pain for almost 30 years. Doctors, osteopaths, massage or all these, so called, wonderful technique did nothing, apart from drain his bank account.
Then one day an elderly lady told him ballroom dancing would help him, but only ballroom, because it is all down to your posture.
He enrolled at the Hove Dance School and within 3 months the back pain had disappeared. He is now a different person.
His road to recovery was going to be feature in the argus but like every thing else, they were not interested.
Ballroom dancing that helps sometimes. A neighbour of mine suffered from back pain for almost 30 years. Doctors, osteopaths, massage or all these, so called, wonderful technique did nothing, apart from drain his bank account. Then one day an elderly lady told him ballroom dancing would help him, but only ballroom, because it is all down to your posture. He enrolled at the Hove Dance School and within 3 months the back pain had disappeared. He is now a different person. His road to recovery was going to be feature in the argus but like every thing else, they were not interested. Betty Blue
  • Score: 0

7:19pm Thu 14 Oct 10

ArthurD says...

Chiropracters can do x-rays. I can recommend Horsham Chiropratic Centre.
Chiropracters can do x-rays. I can recommend Horsham Chiropratic Centre. ArthurD
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Thu 14 Oct 10

Tom V says...

Hannahpants, I was in the same situation and my GP told me to accept that I'd be in pain for the rest of my life. I paid to go privately at Bupa in Woodingdean and was advised to see a chiropractor and was also referred to a pain clinic in Hove.

I saw Richard Hollis, the chiropractor at the Sundial Clinic in Kemptown. The treatment was so effective that I didn't even need the treatment I was offered by the pain clinic and now just get occasional chiro when needed. It has changed my life and I am no longer in pain every day. I should add that it wasn't a treatment I believed in until I had it so it's not a placebo effect.

As for the physio at the Royal Sussex, it was useless. They didn't even touch my back but gave me a leaflet and, after two 'treatments', they told me I was cured. A friend had a similar experience at the Newhaven Polyclinic and, like me had to go privately to enable them to live a normal, pain-free life.

Good luck, I hope you get help soon. Back pain is a very demoralising, life-reducing problem which GPs need to take more seriously.
Hannahpants, I was in the same situation and my GP told me to accept that I'd be in pain for the rest of my life. I paid to go privately at Bupa in Woodingdean and was advised to see a chiropractor and was also referred to a pain clinic in Hove. I saw Richard Hollis, the chiropractor at the Sundial Clinic in Kemptown. The treatment was so effective that I didn't even need the treatment I was offered by the pain clinic and now just get occasional chiro when needed. It has changed my life and I am no longer in pain every day. I should add that it wasn't a treatment I believed in until I had it so it's not a placebo effect. As for the physio at the Royal Sussex, it was useless. They didn't even touch my back but gave me a leaflet and, after two 'treatments', they told me I was cured. A friend had a similar experience at the Newhaven Polyclinic and, like me had to go privately to enable them to live a normal, pain-free life. Good luck, I hope you get help soon. Back pain is a very demoralising, life-reducing problem which GPs need to take more seriously. Tom V
  • Score: 0

8:37pm Thu 14 Oct 10

hannahpants says...

Thanks for all your advice everybody...Oh! I nearly forgot to mention that my latest GP ACTUALLY said, "There are some things that conventional medicine just, can't fix." Queue awkward silence!
Thanks for all your advice everybody...Oh! I nearly forgot to mention that my latest GP ACTUALLY said, "There are some things that conventional medicine just, can't fix." Queue awkward silence! hannahpants
  • Score: 0

1:47am Fri 15 Oct 10

kazza1964 says...

have had chronic bk pain for 15yrs and ive just come bk from london st thomass after a 4wk residential pain management course it was really good,i was referred by my consultant at southlands as i had pain constantly everywhere so no op was poss,within 8mths of bein referred i started the course and i agree because when i was living under b@h council i never got anything since livin in west sussex ive done brilliantly.any one wants more news on the course just ask,by the way theres only 2 residential courses in uk and the staff there in london are so friendly@helpful as its a intense course
have had chronic bk pain for 15yrs and ive just come bk from london st thomass after a 4wk residential pain management course it was really good,i was referred by my consultant at southlands as i had pain constantly everywhere so no op was poss,within 8mths of bein referred i started the course and i agree because when i was living under b@h council i never got anything since livin in west sussex ive done brilliantly.any one wants more news on the course just ask,by the way theres only 2 residential courses in uk and the staff there in london are so friendly@helpful as its a intense course kazza1964
  • Score: 0

9:11am Fri 15 Oct 10

anonymous coward says...

"NHS Brighton and Hove funds the complete range of treatments for lower back pain ..., including spinal manipulation and acupuncture." and other magic potions with no supporting evidence.

Sooner or later, someone with money is going to sue these people for spouting insupportable nonsense.
"NHS Brighton and Hove funds the complete range of treatments for lower back pain ..., including spinal manipulation and acupuncture." and other magic potions with no supporting evidence. Sooner or later, someone with money is going to sue these people for spouting insupportable nonsense. anonymous coward
  • Score: 0

9:35am Fri 15 Oct 10

tombraider59 says...

I've suffered with back pain for 30 years and I've never been able to obtain treatment from the Osteopath without having to pay for it myself, and it's not cheap! I've always found that Doctors aren't much help when it comes to back problems.

I live in the Sompting area.
I've suffered with back pain for 30 years and I've never been able to obtain treatment from the Osteopath without having to pay for it myself, and it's not cheap! I've always found that Doctors aren't much help when it comes to back problems. I live in the Sompting area. tombraider59
  • Score: 0

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