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Julie asked...

My mum has spinal stenosis.

My mum is 65 and has spinal stenosis. She had an epidural in 1998 which was unsuccessful. She is always in pain and has other medical conditions. I am looking for a private consultant to get her referred as the level of pain killers she is taking is beyond the pain she can bear and is certainly not getting better. I want to find out as much as I can and try and help her by going along the private healthcare route if there is a chance it will help her manage her pain.

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The answer

You are very kind to try everything you can to help your poor mum. The NHS does offer a service for severe unmanageable pain, and the clinic is called a ‘pain clinic’. The GP can refer her to it. The consultants that run the clinic specialise in the treatment of pain, and are usually anaesthetists. I am sure you will be able to find a consultant that also has a private practice if you wish to pay. The treatment and advice will not be any different to what the NHS pain clinic can offer, but you will be able to arrange a private appointment much quicker than waiting for an NHS one.

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