A CARNOUSTIE girl’s campaign to get NHS funding for a life-changing operation has received a welcome boost from the local MSP.
Graeme Dey, MSP for Angus South, has pledged his support to Brooke’s Dream after branding her treatment by the NHS as unfair.
Mr Dey spoke out after the local health authority refused funding for a selective dorsal rhizotomy to remove spasticity in Brooke’s legs caused by cerebral palsy, and also turned down an appeal for a consultation at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.
He was advised that it could be another six weeks for agreed referral criteria to be established and for NHS Tayside have these procedures in place.
Mr Dey said: “It is entirely understandable that NHS Tayside would want to be confident that the procedure is likely to benefit Brooke and that, in light of the potential for further similar cases to merge in future, they want to establish referral criteria.
“But the delay in progressing things really isn’t acceptable.
“I have written again to NHS Tayside pointing out how distressing this situation has become for Brooke and her family and asking that they send her to Frenchay Hospital for assessment - something involving relatively minimal cost - whilst developing their referral procedures.
“As things stand the family face a further six week wait until referral criteria are established, then we are being told they would have to wait to find out if Brooke met those criteria before NHS Tayside would even look to offer a referral to Bristol.
“Why not have her go through the initial assessment in the meantime so that when NHS Tayside come to look at her case they’ll have at their disposal expert opinion on whether or not she is a suitable candidate for the procedure ?”
On Friday, ‘Rock for Brooke’ was held at the Cliffburn Hotel, Arbroath, to raise money for the campaign and was a great success according to Brooke’s dad, Stewart.
He said: “The rock night was a brilliant night and was very well attended. I have no idea how much it has raised yet.”
Staff and customers of the Anchor Bar in Arbroath presented Brooke with a cheque for £435 earlier this week. The money was raised from the charity bottle that stands at the side of the bar and from a collection carried out at the Anchor Bar’s Christmas party.
Karen Mutch, manager, explained the bar donates to a good cause every year. She said: “We do it every year and give it to a local charity. One of our regulars works with Brooke’s granddad. He told us about her so we decided to donate to Brooke’s Dream.”