NHS close to decision

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

AFTER months of indecision the NHS have finally told a Carnoustie family they are close to forming new policy on a life-changing operation.

Stewart Ramsay revealed the NHS were a matter of weeks from finalising procedures for processing referrals for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery to cure spasticity caused by cerebral palsy.

His daughter, Brooke (7), has been the focus for the Brooke’s Dream campaign which has been raising money to fund her after-care treatment and has, at the same time, helped highlight the plight of children with cerebral palsy.

Following months of petitioning, the NHS responded on Thursday, Stewart explained: “NHS Tayside today responded to the letters sent to them by Graeme Dey. They advise that they have come to an agreement in principle for referrals for potential SDR candidates to Bristol. They hope to formalise this agreement by the end of the month which should see procedures in place nationally.”

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “NHS Tayside has reached an agreement in principle around a draft referral pathway and guidelines for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).”

Brooke’s mother, Laura, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic they are setting up these pathways. If we hadn’t asked they wouldn’t be any closer to getting SDR in the UK. It’s good not only for us, but it’s given hope to other families too.”

However, the frustration of waiting forced their hand and they went directly to the SDR consultant at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

Stewart said: “We were not going to wait for this process and referred ourselves privately. This is only for the formal assessment so we can go back to them and show them the evidence.

“Brooke’s formal assessment has been pencilled in for May 11 which is around 12 weeks away, so there is still plenty of time for NHS Tayside to do what they have to and make their decision about Brooke. It will be interesting if they agree she fits the criteria for referral before then or not.”

At the weekend Brooke was presented with a cheque for £200 from the Sunday School of the Old and Abbey Church. The money was raised at a recent ‘Tea and Traybakes’ afternoon for Brooke, who along with her sister Amy and brother Ben were baptised at the church.