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Putting Pain on the Agenda: the report of the first English Pain Summit launches
Download a copy of the report here
In November 2011, the British Pain Society, Chronic Pain Policy Coalition, Faculty of Pain Medicine and Royal College of General Practitioners came together to produce the First National Pain Summit for England.
The Pain Summit workshops focussed on three key strands of work that underpin the delivery of high quality services to people living with pain:
• Education of healthcare professionals and patients
• Public health
• Commissioning of services
The work that began in the workshops on the day has continued and has informed this final report.
Alleviation of pain is one of the most basic medical acts, and is a key aim of healthcare. However, in spite of tremendous advances in medicine, this seemingly simple goal remains elusive.
Around one in eight people live with chronic pain nationwide. Although the majority of people living with pain learn to live well in spite of it, a substantial proportion develops problem pain with progressive disability leading to loss of independence and poor quality of life. Untreated, intractable pain can destroy the lives of those living with it and those who care for them. It is strongly associated with depression and people with severe chronic pain die younger than others. The burden on health services of poorly-managed chronic pain is great. The cost of chronic pain to the national economy in terms of benefits paid and lost work is vast, with estimates running into the tens of billions of pounds each year.
Chronic pain – persistent pain lasting longer than three months – can affect any part of the body. It can affect people of any age, including children. Examples include back and joint pain, headache, abdominal pain, pelvic pain and nerve (“neuropathic”) pain.
In the months following the Pain Summit, continued stakeholder consultation and engagement further developed the priorities for action identified on the day. These are:
A: Clear standards and criteria must be agreed and implemented nationally for the identification, assessment, and initial management of problematic pain
B: An awareness campaign should be run to explain the nature, extent, impact, prevention and treatment of chronic pain to the wider general and NHS community
C: Nationally-agreed commissioning guidance must be developed and agreed, describing best value care in chronic pain to reduce unwarranted variation
D: A data strategy for chronic pain should be agreed through creation of an epidemiology of chronic pain working group
The report was launched on 4th July.
To download a copy of the report, click here