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New pain management unit opens

pain management unit opening

Patients are benefitting from a new pain management unit which has been officially opened at Chester-le-Street Community Hospital.

The service has re-located to Chester-le-Street Community Hospital from the University Hospital of North Durham, where it was based in an older part of the hospital.

The new unit is bigger and brighter than the space at Durham and has allowed the service to expand with an additional consultant room, a larger dedicated waiting area, while providing an overall improvement in the physical environment for patients.

The unit offers patients access to a range of multi-disciplinary experts and care including clinical consultants, physiologists, physiotherapists and other support and therapies - all together in one place.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Chairman, Professor Paul Keane officially opened the unit. He said: "Our patient experience team conducted some research at the end of last year with patients and staff and which raised some interesting comments about the Durham-based service.

"It is worth mentioning that through the survey work and face-to-face interviews patients highlighted the clinical service was of excellent quality, which is great to hear, and I congratulate the staff.

"But some of the more negative comments focused on the poor physical environment, which patients felt was dark, small, hot and it was felt improvements could be made to the waiting area and wheelchair access - and of course there were some car parking concerns."

Prof Keane added: "I am delighted that we are now able to provide this valuable service from a location which is much brighter, airy, has more capacity and has access to different car parking options and is delivering an improved overall patient experience."

The service sees about 1,100 new patients every year and 6,000 review patients.

Patient Christine Stebbing said: "Although my experience with the pain management team was in the old building at the East Wing at Durham, I can say without doubt that the service provided by the entire team was second-to-none in that old building.

"However as a service user the Community Hospital at Chester-le-Street has a much lighter brighter feel to it. I'm sure this can only enhance the service delivery of this excellent team and make it much more comfortable for patients."

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham