A DISABLED woman who was told via a phone call that she was no longer eligible for a treatment from the NHS has hit out about local health cuts.

Lesley Roberts has been receiving acupuncture at the Inverclyde Royal Hospital Pain Clinic since suffering an injury in 2005 that impacted her mobility and caused her to suffer with fibromyalgia.

The Greenockian has complained to NHS health board bosses since being left with no treatment for her chronic pain.

She is being supported by local health campaigner and Liberal Democrat candidate for Inverclyde, Dr Jacci Stoyle, who recently wrote to health secretary Jeane Freeman and health board bosses inviting them to take part in a summit to discuss issues like the pain clinic.

Lesley said: "The cuts started with acupuncture being removed from the pain clinic.

"It was a huge blow, as it was a line of treatment that was not overly invasive or painful and assisted with pain and mobility.

"My consultant agreed that the service should not have been cut, yet the NHS pulled the plug on a vital service that helped people like myself with chronic pain with their day-to-day living.

"I cannot understand how a physiotherapist can determine my diagnosis over a phone call - if a chronic pain sufferer does not fit the framework for such a service, who does?

"I've recently found out that there will be no trigger point injections available either which is something else I greatly rely on for my health.

"In today's climate, it is ridiculously poor when the NHS cannot assist disabled people with pain relief that they really require."

Lesley was advised that a nurse who previously performed acupuncture services at Inverclyde Royal Hospital has now set up a private clinic.

She said: "These cuts are not acceptable and if nurses are setting up private clinics it raises questions as to why this service seems to be now only for those who can afford it.

"People with disabilities and chronic pain may find it difficult to work, which leads to other problems, so not everyone will be able to afford to pay for a private service.

"These services have allowed me to keep functioning and go to work.

"To be advised that I can 'go private' is not within the values the NHS are supposed to work in line with."

Dr Stoyle also has expressed her anger at the removal of resources at IRH.

She told the Tele: "It is unbelievable that services that can provide a better quality of life, without drugs, are being viewed as non-essential by the NHS.

"We quite rightly discuss mental health, but no thought has been given for the patients' wellbeing and the stress caused by losing a lifeline that has allowed them to live life as pain-free as possible.

"Lesley is just one example of a patient who the services have worked for.

"These treatments on the surface are to treat chronic pain, but if left it can develop over time and cause a more complicated recovery that in effect will require more NHS resources to manage."

No comment was available from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.