Chronic pain is pain that persists beyond the normal time of healing, or occurs in diseases in which healing does not take place. Chronic pain can occur when no obvious cause can be found, and is thought to be due to changes in the nervous system. It can affect any part of the body and people of any age including children.
Facts and Figures
- Chronic pain affects over 14 million people of all ages in England.
- 25% of those diagnosed with chronic pain go on to lose their jobs
- In 22% of cases chronic pain leads to depression
- Chronic pain accounts for 4.6millon GP appointments per year
- Pain is the second most common reason given for claiming incapacity benefit and £3.8 billion is spent per year on incapacity benefit
- An improved chronic pain strategy that enables people to regain their independence may not involve significant additional resources, is likely to be cost-effective, and could help boost the national economy by up to £18 billion each year through increased output and productivity
- Recent reports have identified pain services as ‘variable and patchy.’
- When poorly managed, conditions associated with pain can have a devastating impact on the quality of life of individuals and their families.
- The failure to implement an effective prevention and treatment strategy for chronic pain not only imposes an unnecessary burden on patients, but also represents an inefficient allocation of time, money and professional expertise.
Baroness Fritchie of Gloucester, President of the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition, says:
"The negative impact that chronic pain is having upon individual people, families, the NHS, the Exchequer and the economy is enormous and alarming, which is why I find the prospect of establishing this Coalition so exciting.
'Patient-led' health services, the effective management of chronic conditions and the need to create healthier workplaces are key priorities for the Department of Health. We need to make sure that prevention and management of Chronic Pain is considered to be a central part of this.
Here we have an opportunity to create a developmental, proactive and patient-focussed Coalition that will solve a problem that cannot be tackled without joined-up thinking. The contribution of patients, professionals and parliamentarians in this Coalition is essential".
The British Pain Society is the largest multidisciplinary professional organisation in the field of pain within the UK.
Founded in 1973, IASP is a non-profit professional organisation dedicated to furthering research on pain and improving the care of patients with pain.
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