My mother Sonia has a displaced disc, trapping her sciatic nerve! The cumulative effect of three weeks worth of strong painkillers and muscle relaxants have not dulled the pain one iota! Sonia may as well have dispensed with the drugs and downed whiskey! The waiting period for an appointment to the local hospital’s ‘acute pain clinic’ is, believe it or not, six months, and that’s just to see a consultant, never mind receiving treatment! Why bother having an acute pain clinic if a patient can’t be seen for six months? Despite the fact my mother paid National Insurance contribution for over 40-years, I will no doubt have to put my hand in my pocket…again, and pay for private treatment! There is nothing ‘cute’ about pain! Meanwhile, according to data obtained by the Royal College of Midwives, through Freedom of Information requests, NHS trusts spent more than £17 million in 2014 on agency midwives, enough to employ 511 full-time staff midwives. How wasteful is that? Huh, no wonder the Government wants to limit Freedom of Information requests by bumping up the fees!