A DESPERATE patient claims he has been left in agony after his “lifeline” pain-killing medicication was suddenly stopped.
Dennis Wood, 60, says he has tried “every medication under the sun” but the only one which gives him any relief is an antiseptic patch which eases the agonising pain of his deep vein thrombosis condition.
But the former steelworker, who has been left bed-ridden for the last 10 years, has now found himself at loggerheads with medics after his Versatis patches were withdrawn.
Versatis is classed as a ‘red drug’, which means it can only be prescribed at a consultant’s discretion.
Speaking from his home near Lancaster Road, Hartlepool, Dennis said: “I have endured 20 years of health problems, and I have had every medication under the sun to try and relieve my pain.
“These patches work, I put one on each morning and it lasts me for 12 hours.
“But as things stand today, I have a handful left and I have been told I can’t get my prescription renewed.
“They don’t change my life, I have been housebound for 10 years, but they ease the pain. I have been using them for a year and they have worked.
“If I don’t take them, the pain is chronic.
“I put one on on a morning, and it lasts me for 12 hours. When it comes off, I replace it with another one.
“I don’t know if they think I am using them too much, but they have said I’m not using them properly and should only put them on when the pain gets bad. I’ve told them the pain is bad every time the patch comes off.
“I’ve been told I may be able to get them from the hospital, but not the doctors, and it is all red tape at the moment.
“But I’m not bothered where I get them from, I need these patches. I am desperate.
“The pain is chronic.
“I am pleading with the doctors to give me them.”
Dennis hasn’t left his town flat for three years, with his last trip out being a hospital visit in 2009.
Since then, the dad-of-two, who is estranged from his ex-wife and son and daughter, relies on neighbours and carers who visit him on a daily basis to help him.
He added: “I am a proud man, it is not nice to have to rely on a neighbour to call round and help me on and off the toilet, or to get dressed, little things like that.
“I wake up at about 4am each day, I turn the radio on and that is me for the rest of the day. People visit me, but I cannot go out.
“I spend 18 hours a day in bed, and rely on a zimmer frame to get me around the house when I’m not in bed.
“The only relief I get comes from the patches. I can’t survive without them.”
An NHS Tees spokeswoman said: “We cannot comment directly on this case without knowing the full details.
“We have been in touch with Mr Dennis Wood directly to discuss his case and we would welcome any further discussion on this matter.
“However, we do need to take patient confidentiality into consideration.
“In general, every patient needs to be reviewed to ascertain the best course of action for that person.
“All doctors have an obligation to review what they’ve been given but they would never leave anyone in pain.
“There should be full consultation and agreement between general practitioners and hospital doctors about the indications and need for particular therapies.
“The decision about who should take responsibility for continuing care or treatment after initial diagnosis or assessment is based on the patient’s best interests rather than on the healthcare professional’s convenience or the cost of the medicine.
“The guidance from the General Medical Council is that as a general rule, GPs don’t normally prescribe ‘red drugs’ (those that have been prescribed outside their licensed indication) and this usually remains the responsibility of the consultant.”