A former district nurse with brittle bone disease has hit out at a ‘medical postcode lottery’ after living in pain with a foot injury for six months.
Louise Pajak, from Chorley, was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis last July – commonly known as pain in the tissue running from your heel to your toes.
But after a referral from a specialist at Manchester Royal Infirmary for an ultrasound to help the issue, she was told that through the NHS’s partnership with physiotherapy and rehab provider Ascenti, no surgeries in the Greater Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were capable of offering it.
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Louise said she explained that she needed an ultrasound scan – one that she has previously used while living in the Wigan Borough CCG area – to examine the extent of her injury as standard physiotherapy would result in her toes breaking due to the disease.
But the 49-year-old said: “The nurses and staff were trained in using the equipment but the equipment just wasn’t available.”
Louise also mentioned it was suggested she move back to the Wigan Borough CCG area where she received ultrasound treatment at The Dicconson Group Practice relating to tennis elbow.
“I was told I should move back to Wigan. But I want to be with my family and friends,” the former St Michael’s High School pupil said.
“It’s the NHS; there shouldn’t be a postcode lottery. Why do people in Wigan get the treatment but not people like me in Chorley because it’s not been commissioned?”
Louise now lives in a state of fear due to the injury and living with brittle bone disease, where a knock or fall could cause greater damage.
Louise added: “I’m frightened of falling over and breaking my leg. I don’t want to fall and cost the NHS any more.”
A spokesman for the CCGs in Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston said: “While we cannot comment on individual patient cases, we can confirm that all residents of Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston have access to the Central Lancashire Moving Well service which can be accessed by referral from a medical professional or self-referral online or over the phone. Where necessary, patients will be referred to this service to access more specialist treatments that cannot be offered within a GP surgery.
“Any patient who accesses this service will be clinically triaged and seen by medical professionals.”