Chronic pain campaigner makes emotional plea to MSPs

Susan Archibald: "I lived so many times in a dark corner of my bedroom struggling with pain."

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A woman who is campaigning for better services for people with chronic pain has made an emotional plea to MSPs.

Susan Archibald appeared before Holyrood's public petitions committee calling for radical improvements to the current system.

She wants Scotland to have a residential unit for chronic pain sufferers so patients do not have to seek specialist care in England.

About 770,800 people in Scotland are estimated to suffer from chronic pain.

Ms Archibald has lived with pain for 13 years.

In an emotional address to the committee, she said: "There are so many people across the country who suffer from chronic pain and it is something you cannot see.

"Nobody understands what it is - it is the most debilitating thing that could ever happen to you."

Ms Archibald said more than £1m had been spent by NHS Scotland during that past few years sending people with chronic pain to a specialist centre in Bath for treatment.

Her petition also called for the transfer of more of the management of chronic pain into primary care to allow a better understanding among GPs, and greater consideration of the social and emotional factors of how the injury, illness, or disease was caused or what effects it has on the person.

Ms Archibald is also urging MSPs to debate the issues in parliament.

She said this would urge the government to put an end to Scotland's few chronic pain treatment centres being understaffed and confined mainly to cities, and "let people in pain have more than current postcode access and patchy and inadequate services".

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