"Excellent NHS Fife Rivers Pain Management Service"

About: Fife Community Services

(as the patient),

I have just completed a 5 week course, with NHS Fife Integrated Pain Management Service - Rivers, at Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre, and wish to thank NHS Fife Rivers programme, but in particular the phenomenal physiotherapist, Karen, her assistant Sheena and Suzanne, the pharmacist.

I have suffered for a number of years from chronic and persistent pain, that just never seemed to go away and which has a huge impact on my daily living. I was feeling permanently sore, exhausted, upset and not in control of my pain, or my life, so my amazing GP, Dr Bandularatne, from Burntisland Medical Group, referred me to the service.

From the minute I stepped through the door, I was made to feel valued, listened to and understood. I geninely feel the Rivers programme offered me a holistic approach to managing my pain, which consisted of gentle exercises and stressing the importance of staying active, positive, encouraging and fun education sessions and individual pharmacist review each week.

The staff were amazing, funny, caring, compassionate, encouraging, knowledgeable and genuinely worked hard and were keen to make a difference and have motivated and inspired me through education, exercise and laughter, during the 5 week course.

I feel now that I am better equipped, with a "toolkit" that will help me manage my chronic pain more effectively in the future. I have been inspired to make changes and learnt not to be afraid of exercise, have knowledge of relaxation and mindfulness techniques, I feel better educated and understand neuropathic pain and through pharmacist review, have learnt to adjust certain painkilling medication for "good and not so good days". I have had certain medication changed and was encouraged to slowly reduce medication, with the pharmacist even prescribing.

I feel more in control now, I have renewed hope, a much more positive outlook and I am looking forward to a much better quality of life.

Thank you, Rivers, for making a difference

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Responses

Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear kennifer

Thank you so much for telling us about your experience of Rivers. I can't begin to imagine how it must feel to live with chronic and persistent pain which leaves you feeling the way you describe in your post. I know from others that what you describe is not unusual however and sadly know of the despair this often leads to. It is great to hear that the referral to Rivers and the subsequent course has enabled you to regain control and has given you a range of tools to support you going forward. This is great news not only for you but it will also be very re assuring to others who share in your experience. Posting on PO is a great way of sharing good practice and also enables us to get the feedback to the right people. Helpfully identifying key people will mean I can do that today, so thanks for the detail.

May I take the opportunity to wish you well moving forward.

Thanks again for sharing.

Louise Ewing

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Dear kennifer

Further to our correspondence, I have been contacted by our Head of Communications who contacted me to ask if you would consider allowing us to use your experience to develop a case study, highlighting good practice. We believe this would enable us to drive further improvement. If this is something you would be willing to discuss further, then please contact Judith directly using the contact information below. If you decide to contact Judith please indicate you were the person who posted on Patient Opinion.

Thanks again

Louise

Contact details - Judith.mackay@nhs.net 01592 647971

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Update posted by kennifer (the patient)

Hi Louise, after your message requesting me to make contact to develop a case study on the amazing service of the Rivers Pain Management, I decided to go ahead to share my experience. so 7 days after your request, I have just come off the phone with someone in the Comms team who after explaining several times who I was, repeatedly insisted I had the wrong department and wrong person, even after mentioning I had left positive review and case study.

I am bitterly dissapointed in this poor communications and insistence that I had contacted the wrong department. The person insisted that they did not deal with any clinical enquiries. The penny finally dropped, after much insistence from me, and the excuses started, even suggested the timescales I mentioned to be wrong. so I have therefore decided that, as a direct result of this phone call, that I am not now going to share my story in the form of a case study. It is such a pity that my positivity has been destroyed. I actually feel really let down by poor communications.

Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing

Hi kennifer

Thanks for getting back to me. I was so sorry to hear that your contact had the effect of impacting on your positivity and I fully appreciate your disappointment. I have spoken to the Comms team directly who are also very sorry and asked that I convey their sincere apology. The team asked me to let you know that the member of staff you spoke to was genuinely confused about the nature of the call and did not make the connection when you spoke. She was keen to make sure you got to speak to the right person but hadn't appreciated that it was the Comms team you were trying to contact until very late in the conversation.

It is disappointing that this has impacted negatively on what was otherwise a very positive experience and we are genuinely sorry to have missed the opportunity to work with you.

Thank you for taking the time to get back in touch

Regards

Louise

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