Father of Stockton stroke victim, Emily, 11, tells of his frustration that NHS won't buy machine he says aids her movement (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Father of Stockton stroke victim, Emily, 11, tells of his frustration that NHS won't buy machine he says aids her movement
A FATHER has clashed with NHS chiefs over the provision of a machine he believes will help his 11-year-old daughter, who has suffered a stroke.
Terry Murphy said the machines had been tested on his daughter Emily Simpson with NHS physiotherapists present and there seemed to be positive results from her arm and leg.
However, the NHS says there was no evidence the machine would in fact help Emily, of Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, who suffered a stroke more than a year ago.
Mr Murphy has criticised health chiefs who he says have taken too long to come to a decision, something he says could have cost his daughter vital time.
Emily, who lives with her mother Carolyn Simpson, and attends Bishopsgarth School, can now walk, albeit with limitations, and has some speech and use of her hand.
Her parents, who already pay for extra therapy, have received promises of support from the Finlay Cooper Trust and Remembering Rebecca charity and organised a successful fund-raising night.
Thousands of pounds has been raised for treatment and they hope to have enough money for at least one of the Ness H200 machines which cost £6,500. It had been hoped the NHS might fund another one.
But now Mr Murphy has spoken of his disappointment that Hartlepool and North Tees NHS Trust has not applied to NHS commissioners for the machinery.
He said: "We've done a lot of fund-raising and it's almost as if we're being punished for doing that. I don't see why they couldn't even apply after having that positive result with the machinery.
"The NHS pays for cosmetic surgery, things like boob jobs, which I'm not against if it really helps people, but, surely, a chance to help a little girl who has had a stroke is a higher priority?
"Why did it take so long to make this decision? She went to have these machines checked long before the summer holidays. Time is important for Emily's recovery."
A spokesperson for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: "In cases where there is no evidence that a treatment can benefit a child, we have to consider the risks to the child and look at alternative treatments which have proven successful."
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