A DISABLED Halesowen man, who suffers from severe back pain, feels “abandoned” by Russells Hall Hospital after his treatment was stopped last November.

The Dudley hospital’s pain and rheumatology patients were moved out of A1 ward to make way for the winter’s influx of accident and emergency cases.

Tony Smith’s five-day stay to receive an eight hour a day lignocaine intravenous infusion was cancelled.

The 66-year-old, who has had the treatment every six months for 20 years, endured a “miserable” Christmas after the cancellation and is still waiting hear what treatment he will receive and when.

Mr Smith, who helped raise more than £100,000 for pain patients at the hospital over 13 years, accused it of leaving him and other patients to suffer and of poor communications.

A fellow fundraiser at the hospital told him of the changes to the A1 Ward and Mr Smith said it was only after calls from concerned patients that a letter was sent saying they would receive infusions on a day ward and sent home afterwards from the new year.

“But I heard nothing more so I rang them on Monday and the girl who phoned me back said they hadn’t decided about the treatment.

“I suffer from chronic pain. They just stopped my treatment and I feel abandoned.”

He added: “There are 80 pain patients – all we need is two beds over a year.”

The former HGV driver, of Chadbury Road, damaged two discs in his back in an accident at work and was left with permanent pain following an operation.

He also suffers from fibromyalgia and has been supplementing his daily dose of 180mg of morphine tablets with more pain killers to reduce his agony.

Mr Smith said his body was so used to the regular drug infusion that stopping it had caused him to suffer withdrawal symptoms, including numbness, as well as pain.

Paula Clark, chief executive, the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said all patients affected were informed about the changes to their treatment via letter in December.

She said: “Rather than having to stay in hospital for five days with an eight hour infusion each day of their stay, patients will now receive one infusion of up to three hours and can return to their own homes the same day.

“The new arrangements also mean that patients will no longer have their appointments rearranged due to bed shortages.

“The new treatment is just as effective and the change brings the trust in line with every other centre across the country who also now offer the lignocaine infusions as a day case treatment.

Ms Clark added: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an individual patient’s treatment.

“However, we would always encourage patients who have concerns or worries about their treatment to contact a member of the team involved in their care or our patient advice and liaison service on free phone 0800 073 0510.”