In April 2015, Chris Bridgeford from Forres, in Moray, having lived with chronic pain since he was 17 in 1978, decided to create a closed Facebook Group to give information to fellow sufferers and to let them chat with each other. At that time the only Pain Clinic in the Grampian Health Board region was 78 miles away in Aberdeen. This required chronic pain sufferers or “chronics” (as we call them) to make an arduous, round-trip journey of over 150 miles, sometimes on public transport. The group campaigned to re-establish a Chronic Pain Service at Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin and on 3rd March 2016 a Pain Service opened up there, though some aspects of care still had to go to Aberdeen.
affa sair has gathered around 430 members now (January 2019) and strives to ensure that NHS Grampian maintains a suitable Pain Service at Dr Gray's Hospital In Elgin. We provide an on-line safe haven for chronic pain sufferers, where they may freely discuss their condition and pick up hints and tips from other sufferers, together with articles and documents researched by the Group. As well as our virtual presence we also hold exclusive monthly meetings, in Room 14, Alexander Graham Bell Hub, Moray College, Elgin IV30 1JS.
You will get the most from affa sair by joining in our chats and discussions on our closed Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/affasair. A closed group means that only members of that group can see any posts. Please note that you MUST read and understand our Membership Rules before applying.
Malcolm Wright, Chief Executive, NHS Grampian said:
"I would like to commend the affa sair group for its hard work and commitment since 2015. The group has done excellent work in terms of raising awareness of chronic pain and the impact it can have. Knowing that local support is available from people who understand what they are going through is very important to patients. This leaflet provides useful and relevant information and I hope that it is made widely available to complement all the other support that the affa sair group provides including monthly meetings and the use of social media."
Douglas Ross, MP said:
“affa sair does fantastic work for those who suffer from chronic pain, a condition that is often termed as an invisible illness because, despite no obvious visible signs, sufferers are living with chronic fatigue, aches and pains and often struggle on a daily basis.
affa sair is seen as an excellent patient-led group which is highly regarded across Scotland.
NHS Grampian Pain Service said:
“Chronic pain affects around 800,000 people in Scotland. Medical treatments may benefit some of those dealing with long-term pain issues, however, for many, pain remains a daily challenge, affecting all aspects of life. affa sair offers a place of support for those struggling with pain, providing understanding, social support, and a platform to learn important coping strategies which are central to improving quality of life in the long-term. Flexible access to this support is available through group meetings and a social media forum. NHS Grampian Chronic Pain Service recognizes and highly values the contribution that the affa sair group provides to the local communities.”
Richard Lochhead, MSP said:
“affa sair do a fantastic job raising awareness of the challenges facing chronic pain patients in Moray and have played a key role in the reinstatement of pain clinics at Dr Gray’s. affa sair has been a huge comfort to many people with the group providing support to each other and also offering a safe place for chronic pain patients to share their experiences with people who understand what they’re going through.”