Essex: Health trust creates new ‘headache clinics’

A NEW specialist clinic has been opened in north east Essex to help people suffering from the likes of migraines.

The weekly community “headache clinic” will be held alternately between Clacton and Colchester, and will treat patients who have been referred by their GP.

They should be seen at the clinic within a couple of weeks, as opposed to the current 11-week wait to see a hospital consultant.

It has been funded by NHS North East Essex and is run by Dr Samia Qurban, who believes the clinic will be a major benefit for patients.

“I have worked closely for the past six months with Dr Mohammed Sharief, a consultant neurologist at Colchester General Hospital, and we have looked at the cases referred by GPs.

“The feeling is a good number of referrals could be dealt with in a community setting.”

Dr Qurban added: “This has two major advantages: firstly, people have a much shorter time to wait after seeing their own GP and, secondly, the hospital consultants can focus on patients whose condition is appropriate for their attention.

Most Read

“The clinic is now in its third week and the number of people I am seeing is increasing week on week. Many of them are migraine sufferers whose condition can be looked after, mostly via prescribing medication, without the need to go to hospital.”

Caroline Westley, project manager at NHS North East Essex, said: “There are about 1,560 people a year across north east Essex referred to neurology outpatients and there is currently around an 11-week wait.

“It is believed at least 20% of these could be dealt with in a community setting, so we are anticipating our community headache clinic to deal with around 300 patients a year.

“The neurology team at Colchester Hospital has been extremely helpful in getting this new community service off the ground as they are as keen as us to make sure people are seen in the most appropriate setting.

“This initiative is an excellent way of speeding up patient treatment and making best use of valuable NHS resources. We anticipate we can save around �60,000 a year by ensuring people are treated in the most appropriate setting”

The clinic is run from the Ranworth Surgery in Clacton and the West Bergholt surgery.