SIP Symposium 2014 - November 17-18th


The EU council under the Italian Presidency to prioritize Pain and Palliative Care in 2014!

Four interactive panel discussions involving key stakeholders in Europe will define what needs to be done now to ensure that chronic pain and palliative care become long term EU and National Health priorities as well !

The SIP programme committee announced earlier this year that SIP symposium 2014 will be hosted on November 17th and 18th . The decision to move the annual SIP event to the second semester this year is due to the exciting news that the Italian department of European Affairs announced that it intends to list pain therapy and palliative care as priorities to be addressed during their presidency of the EU council . This means that for the first time ever during the Italian Presidency of the EU Council all EU Health Ministers will be discussing the societal burden of Chronic Pain and Palliative Care and will be debating how to address this priority in the years to come.

Here you can find the link to the official document where it is stated on page 100 ( translated from Italian) : During the Presidency semester the themes of pain therapy and palliative care will be tackled: topical issues thanks to the progresses in medicine and on which our country wants to share its own experience with other member states.

Considering the importance of this announcement it was also decided to celebrate the 5th SIP symposium by inviting Nick Ross, one of the most renowned European journalists and scientific moderators to lead four interactive panel discussions. Nick Ross has a long interest and involvement with healthcare policy and an interest in pain management ( you can find a brief CV below* and here a link to his website)

Therefore policy makers and those who influence EU Health Policy i.e. politicians , insurers , economists , patient advocates , industry , journalists and all other key stakeholders are invited to join an intense and exiting debate to define what needs to be done now to ensure that chronic pain and palliative care will become an EU and National Health Policy priority also in the long term.

If you would like to attend the SIP 2014 Symposium on Tuesday November 18th in the European Parliament you may register via this link : Please note that this is the link for the 'open registration' and that you would need to make own arrangements for hotel and transport. Due to limited seating capacity the organisers can only accommodate a limited number of non-invited guests to participate in the symposium and it is recommended that you register your interest to attend early. On the day of the event the organisers will assist you to obtain an entry into the European Parliament and you will be able to participate in the two refreshment breaks and the lunch that will be provided.


Please also join the discussion on the  SIP Group on LinkedIn !


* Nick Ross : Chairman Wales Cancer Bank, President of HealthWatch (UK charity promoting evidence-based medicine), trustee Sense About Science (promotes scientific literacy), Chairman Evidence Matters (promotes evidence-based public policy), trustee UK Stem Cell Foundation (funds stem cell research), Fellow Royal Society of Medicine, Visiting Professor and Honorary Fellow UCL, adviser London Health Review, patron various health charities, etc. Former member: UK Gene Therapy Advisory Committee, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Royal College of Physicians Committee on Ethical Issues in Medicine, NHS Review Team, Academy of Medical Sciences Review of Non-Human Primate Use in Medical Research, etc



Multi-stakeholder views on Chronic Pain presented in the EU parliament

During the exhibition in the European Parliament, the Pain Patient Pathway Recommendations, the result of a pan-European survey spanning 18 countries, were presented to policy makers for the first time.

The exhibition in the European Parliament was closed by a reception including presentations of different perspectives on chronic pain expressed by the policy makers (MEP Petru Luhan), the patients (Joop van Griensven, Pain Alliance Europe), the health professionals (Prof. Giustino Varrassi), the scientists (Prof. Roberto Casale) and the industry (Jeanette Hübsch, Grünenthal).

“We have to join forces in the battle against the devastating social and economic effects of chronic pain in Europe”, states MEP Petru Luhan.

New campaign "Allianz Chronischer Schmerz Österreich"

Sign the signature campaign to support the Alliance's concerns

In austria an estimated 1.5 to 1.7 million people are dealing with chronic pain. The road to diagnoses is long and often not really effective, the therapy is cost-intensive and insufficient. EURAG Austria, the non-profit representative of the quality of life of older people in 33 stages, took the founding of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), a European-wide organisation, as an example for the launch of the "Allianz Chronischer Schmerz Österreich" ("Alliance Chronic Pain Austria"). Meanwhile 34 self-help groups joined this initiative.

The alliance started a signature campaign on their new website, with the motto: "Together we are strong", everyone who signs this campaign (also possible per "click" on the website) shows that they support the concerns of the alliance:
-  Recognize chronic pain als a disease on its own.
-  Ensure a rapid diagnosis and effective treatment.
-  Improve communicatoin between patients and doctors.
-  Strengthen personal responsibility and competence of the patients.

For more informaiton and to sign the campaign, please visit the website of Allianz Chronischer Schmerz Österreich.

New Projects "Pijnpatiënten naar één stem" for 2013

A guideline for Chronic Pain, in collaboration with the Dutch Pain Society

Partnership “Pijnpatiënten naar één stem (“~Pain patients with one voice”) raises the voices of patients during meetings and conversations with care providers, the (pharmaceutical) industry, healthcare insurances, politicians and the government.

During the next few years the Partnership “Pijnpatiënten naar één stem” and the Dutch Pain Society will collaborate to create a guideline Chronic Pain. In the framework of the so-called voucher subsidy from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the partnership “Pijnpatiënten naar één stem” will gather, disclose and introduce knowledge out of experiences into further developments to improve pain care. The recognition of chronic pain as “a disease in its own right” is a shared objective on European level.

Chronic Pain was placed in the Top 20 of patientorganisations of the “Kwaliteitinstituut (KI)” (“Quality Institute”), therefore Chronic pain is now one of the ten topics of the meetings with treatment providers and patients. These meetings will be organized by the KI. The partnership hopes the Institute will bring forth chronic pain prevention and treatment in general quality management.

Another project is the “Project group Knowledge by Experience” (Projectgroep Ervaringskennis). This group combines the knowlegde of candidates of four different organisations (Alvleeskliervereniging Nederland, Nederlandse Vereniging van Hoofdpijnpatiënten, Stichting Pijn-Hoop, Whiplash Stichting Nederland). The Chair of this group is Anne Stornebrink (Dwarsleasie Organisatie Nederland). Duties for 2013 are the development of a questionnaire, database and analysis model. With the questionnaire the group wants to expand the research by Nivel and Vilans, which were done in the framework of the project “Zicht op pijn” (“~A view on Pain”).

For more information, please have a look into the (dutch) Status Report or the website of "Pijnpatiënten naar één stem".

PainAustralia Annual General Meeting; the impact of chronic pain in Australia’s ageing workforce

On 9 April 2013 the Painaustralia AGM (Annual General Meeting) took place from 4-6 pm in the Theatrette, Parliament House Macquarie Street.

Guest speaker, Professor Deborah Schofield, Chair of Health Economics, University of Sydney reported on her recent study which highlights the impact of chronic pain in Australia’s ageing workforce and the implications of forced retirements on future welfare costs. Improved management of chronic pain could halt the rise in the disability support pension.

40 percent of early retirements – equating to 280,000 people aged between 45 and 64 – are due to arthritis and back problems, both associated with chronic pain. This shows that welfare costs will increase and highlights the need for the federal government and opposition to address chronic pain in their health policies.

For more information, please have a look on the PainAustralia website.

Back Pain in the Construction Industry

BackCare, an organization in the UK came up with the Back Pain Construction Initiative

The construction industry in the UK represents around 1.5 million workers. The costs for back pain among these workers are estimated on more than £1 billion (€~1.2 billion) per year in healthcare, disability benefits and lost productivity. Another fact about back pain in the construction industry in the UK: the construction companies are responsible for more than 25,000 new back injuries every year, and a growing proportion, between a third and half of construction workers over 50 now suffer chronic back pain. According to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), manual handling (pulling, pushing, lifting and carrying) accounts for 38% of workplace accidents in all industries – most of which are back injuries.

Funds for training courses
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) was established 1964, collecting an annual levy from all construction employers to fund training courses. The CITB is the responsibility of the UK Government’s Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The CITB’s levy-funded ‘Health, Safety and Environment Test’ only aims to ensure that “workers have a minimum level of health, safety and environmental awareness”. BackCare’s opinion is that not a “minimum” level of training is needed but a protocol that has proven to be effective. “Truly educative prevention is always the most effective and most cost-effective option, and we now have evidence of an effective protocol that combines physical skills training with behavioural change interventions at the organizational level to create profound and sustained reduction in manual handling incidents”, says Dr Adam Al-Kashi, Head of Research at BackCare. 

Manual handling training
Pristine Condition (PC) is a world leader in manual handling training. The training company was founded in 1996 by a former world weightlifting record holder and advisor to the Olympic committee, Davy Snowdon. The training protocol has proven to reduce manual handling accidents and injuries in the workplace by 88-100%. They worked together with the HSE as partners in the Estates Excellence programme, which aimed to see “Government and Business working together to make a difference”. The HSE is a non-departmental public body of the UK created in 1974. It is responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare, and for research into occupational risks in England, Wales and Scotland.

Collaboration for new campaign
BackCare initiated collaboration with PC in 2012 for the launch of a new campaign, aimed at reducing the impact of back pain in the construction industry. Bottom lines are:

  • CITB delivers optional training programmes, and yet back pain in the UK construction industry costs $1 billion per year and destroys thousands of human lives.
  • A Proven effective training protocol must be adopted by the CITB and enforced by the HSE as mandatory for all construction companies. 
  • True educative prevention has proven return on investment, therefore it does not matter whether this is paid for by levy or Government funding. 

For more information on back pain in the construction industry and for the vision for the immediate future, please have a look on the website of the BackCare Construction Initiative

Dutch pain patients are working together

Partnership of twelve patient organizations founded

The Dutch partnership "Pijnpatiënten naar één stem" ("~Pain Patients with one voice") was recently founded and Ilona Thomassen-Hilgersom is elected as Chairman. Ilona Thomassen-Hilgersom has years of experience in improving pain care. She is also Chairman of the "Patient Association Complex Regional Pain Syndrome" ("Patiëntenvereniging CRPS").

The partnership consist of twelve patient organizations, who want to raise the awareness of chronic pain. The organizations together represent the pain patient, in consultation with politicians, insurances and treatment providers. The partnership will collect pain patients' experiences on chronic pain and wants to stimulate the pain treatment providers to develop guidelines for the treatment of chronic pain.

The link for the Dutch press release.

The goal of the pain organizations is to improve pain care in the Netherlands. The cooperating organizations want to achieve this by:

  • Acknowledgement of chronic pain as a disease on its own.
  • Prevention of chronicity by adequate acute pain care; early diagnosis and multidisciplinary treatment.
  • Understanding for pain patients by treatment providers
  • Preventing treatment over treatment if there is no real prospect of reducing the complaints.
  • Pain patients who are focused on the things they can do and not on the things they can not.

Dutch organizations who are particitpating:

  1. Alvleesklier Vereniging Nederland
  2. Dwarslaesie Organisatie Nederland
  3. Fibromyalgie en Samenleving (F.E.S.), de Nationale Vereninging voor Fibromyalgie-patienten
  4. ME/CVS-Stichting Nederland
  5. ME vereniging Nederland
  6. Nederlandse Vereniging van Hoofdpijnpatiënten
  7. Patiëntenvereniging Complex Regionaal Pijn Syndrome (CRPS)
  8. Osteoporose Vereniging
  9. Patiënten Vereniging Voor Neurostimulatie
  10. Syringomyelie Patiënten Vereniging
  11. Stichting Pijn-Hoop
  12. Wiplash Stichting Nederland 

Photo competition Palliative Care 2013 - call for international submissions

Photo competition 2013 of the German Palliative Care Foundation - call for submissions

Theme: "Enjoy life. To the very end." / Closing date for submissions is 15 March 2013

FULDA. Humour is one of the greatest things in life. It is frequently expressed as an enjoyment of life, still present at the end of that life. Vitality conveys and disseminates a lightness that is beneficial to sick people. Consequently, jokes and laughter are also present at the death bed. "Because patients with good palliative care can enjoy life right to the very end," says Thomas Sitte, Chairman of the Board of the Deutsche PalliativStiftung (DPS). And it is precisely this which the foundation intends as the focus of its photo competition this year, with the chosen theme "Enjoy life. To the very end."

This is the third time that the foundation is initiating a national photo competition, with the objective to enhance perception of the important work of volunteers and staff in hospice and palliative establishments in the awareness of the public and to show that, with good palliative care, those concerned can live right until the end and die in contentment, without pain and safe in their familiar surroundings.

"In the past two years our photo competitions, the resultant wall calendars and accompanying photo exhibitions have enabled us to achieve a great deal. New sections of the population have rethought what it means when life comes to an end. We now want to stimulate this thought process further. Life can be made enjoyable and worthy of living right to the very end. This is something that everyone should know and we aim to contribute to this and encourage people with our activities," says Sitte.

Funny, life-affirming and humorous motifs

For its project the DPS is once again looking for a broad range of photographs – the motifs should be cheerful, humorous and life affirming, depicting both people and still life scenes. Once again, the goal is to create a calendar using the most expressive pictures.

We call upon all amateur and part-time photographers who are involved in the practical work of palliative care and hospice activities or are interested in the subject, as well as relatives and friends accompanying a well-loved person on their final journey. Professional photographers may also participate in the competition. Closing date for submissions is Friday, 15 March 2013.

Submit photos using the picture tool

Pictures should be in jpg. format, landscape format and have a minimum resolution of 2480 x 1860 pixels. The photos can be submitted to the foundation for the competition using a picture tool. All pictures will be accepted, however, if the resolution of the photo is not sufficient for participation in the competition, the participant will be informed via e-mail.

The link to the picture tool:

A jury will select the three winning motifs that it considers to be most original and best photographed. In addition, the jury will also select the remaining pictures for the Deutscher PalliativKalender 2014.

But what a photo competition be without a prize? The three winners will receive 700, 500 and 300 euros from the Deutsche PalliativStiftung for a charitable hospice or palliative care facility of their choice.  

With the submission of their photos the participants declare their agreement to the publication of the photo on the internet as well as in the print media (in particular in the photo calendar, in press articles and in flyers). In addition, after the competition the pictures can be used by those involved in hospice and palliative work for their public relations. The pictures are provided in a download area for this purpose. The name of the respective photographer must be published as source in the event of use. The submitter also assures that the picture motif does not infringe the rights of third parties or that the Deutsche PalliativStiftung receives all rights with the submission of the photo.

Winners will be informed via e-mail. The decision of the jury is final.

Thomas Sitte
Chairman of the Board   
German Palliativ Care Foundation (Deutsche PalliativStiftung) 

"Alliance for Chronic Pain" Austria established

tl_files/redakteur-bereich/News/Endorsers News/EURAG_AUSTRIA.JPGEURAG Austria and SHGs merge to invest pain patients with a strong and active voice

On the 24th October 2012 the EURAG Austria (European Federation for the Welfare of the Elderly) and 12 SHGs (support groups) assembled for the first time in the the "Institute for Ethics and Law in Medicine", Austria, to put European politicans under pressure to attain a raised awareness that pain needs to be considered as a disease on its own rights.

EURAG Austria as a founding member of the "Pain Alliance Europe" was the significnat influence to unify the SHGs into the "Alliance for Chronic Pain Austria" under the motto "Together we are strong". The Alliance's mission is to invest Austrian pain patients with a powerful and active voice.

Furthermore, it was decided to design a new homepage soon to display the Alliance's mission, the henceforth 27 SHGs, new ways of theapy and helpful links.

Yet the latest proceedings are presented on the EURAG Austria Homepage.

EPPOSI CCM White Paper

EPPOSI White Paper on a Chronic Conditions Model  - soon available!

The independent, not‐for‐profit, partnership-based and multi‐stakeholder think tank EPPOSI just published a White Paper on “Building a Workable Model for the Holistic Management of Chronic Conditions in Europe” and will be available at the upcoming EPPOSI CCM Conference on “An Optimal European Chronic Care Model: Towards Implementation and Benchmarking” (Brussels, December 5th, 2012). 

This White Paper represents the EPPOSI Chronic Conditions Management (CCM) group’s inputs to the development of a workable model for the holistic management of chronic conditions in Europe, taking into consideration medical, socioeconomic and technology dimensions. The primary objective of EPPOSI’s White Paper is to overcome both the existing gaps and obstacles in the management of chronic conditions in Europe and promote initiatives to tackle the alarming situation and impacts of chronic diseases.

While EPPOSI has been endorsing the symposia SIP 2011 and SIP 2012, the SIP-Platform and SIP Endorsing Organisations have supported the development of the White Paper during the past two years, including the demand for the recognition of Chronic Pain “… as an essential part of European and national policy-making on chronic conditions and diseases and as a health state to be treated as a disease in its own right.”

You can read more details at its Executive Summary that is available at the EPPOSI website.

Pain Toolkit - Updated Version of guide booklet on Pain Management

"The Pain Toolkit" provides new ways of pain management

This informative booklet is for people who life with persistent pain. One of the two authors, Pete Moore himself, suffers from persistent pain, asthma and osteoarthritis and has put these 12 tools together to support others along the way to manage their pain.

Read the updated "Pain Toolkit" here.
Visit  or mailto:

Signature petition for "Alliance for Chronic Pain Austria"

Alliance for Chronic Pain Austria founded by patient support groups in Austria

On the 24th October the "Alliance for Chronic Pain Austria" was founded by 18 patient support group (SHGs) in Vienna. The aim is to raise opinions leaders' and public awareness for chronic pain as a disease in its own right.

In Austria every fifth citizen is still suffering from chronic pain which is heavily to treat in comparison to acute pain. Against other European countries there are no institutions in Austria which allow an effective treatment of chronic pain. There are only a few multidisciplinary pain centres admitting an effective diagnosis and treatment. Oftentimes the latency endures several months. In order to give the 1.5 million pain patients in Austria a "stronger voice" the EURAG Austria founded together with the support group pain the "Alliance for Chronic Pain Austria".   

Here you can read the full Alliance Austria Press Relase (German).   (PDF) 

Pain - A Key Priority for "Medicare Local"

Australian Medical Organisations call for improved Pain Management

The Report exposes chronic pain as a condition that is usually incompletely assessed and managed and therefore can result in numerous failed treatments.
It shows the necessity of improved pain-management and opiod education. 

Furthermore it gives a forecast to the following steps and activities of Australian Medical Organisations.

Read the full Painaustralian eNews Issue

Sign now! Charter for Care of the critically-ill and the dying in Germany

Cross-Border support for “Charter for Care of the critically-ill and the dying in Germany”

Until today the Charta has been signed by almost 500 organisations and nearly 1100 individuals; now the health minister of the German-speaking community of Belgium has also given his signature. 

The “Charter for Care of the critically-ill and the dying in Germany” was published in autumn 2010 describing the current status quo of the management of critically-ill and the dying in Germany and giving suggestions for improvement for future actions. About 200 Experts from 50 societal and health political institutions participated in the 2-year-development format of the Charter.

Responsible bodies are the German Association for Palliative Medicine (“Deutsche Gesellschaft für Palliativmedizin”, DGP), the German Hospice- and Palliative Association (“Deutsche Hospiz- und PalliativVerband”, DHPV) and the German Medical Association (“Bundesärztekammer”, BÄK).

During the 90th Hospice Day in Aachen (“90. Aachener Hospizgespräch”) on 22 June 2012 signatures were given different representatives of the city of Aachen as well as the communities and (cross-border) regions, e.g. by Städteregionsrat Helmut Etschenberg, state secretary of the ministry of health, emancipation, care and age of the German region of Northrheine-Westphalia (NRW), Mrs Marlis Bredehorst, and minister for family, health and social affairs of the government of the German-speaking community of Belgium, Harald Mollers (ProDG). Here you can find the speech of Harald Mollers.  

Due to the  “Servicestelle Hospiz”, one of the endorsing organisations of the scientific aims of SIP, the region of Aachen & its communities (“Städteregion Aachen”) was mentioned as national best-practice example for its engagement and management of palliative care patients.

More information you can find at the Charter-Website.

If you would like to support the Charter you may sign here to sign the Charter.

Pain Toolkit Podcast - Re-launch of Pain Self-Management booklet

Pain Toolkit's creator Pete Moore discusses the re-launch version of the information booklet thThe Pain Toolkit Podcast - Pete Mooreat should help people to self-manage their pain.

Pete Moore from The Pain Toolkit talks about the updated version of his easy-to-use information booklet which helps people to self-manage their longt term or even chronic pain. He himself as co-author suffers from persistent pain and developed the tools together with friends, family and health care professionals.

Please find here the full Pain Toolkit Podcast with Pete Moore.
More inforamtion at or contact Pete directly:


Painaustralia Media Release: Jillian Skinner allocates $26 Million for NSW Pain Management Plan

NSW Pain Plan provides major boost to Pain Services, Research and Education

Millions with chronic pain to benefit from NSW Pain Management Plan

Today’s announcement by the NSW Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, Jillian Skinner of an additional $26 million over the next four years for the NSW Pain Management Plan, will make urgently needed pain services available to people throughout NSW.

It is a much-needed breakthrough for the one in five people in NSW, including adolescents and children, and one in three of people over 65, living with debilitating chronic pain and a significant step to address the recommendations of the National Pain Strategy.

Director of the University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Pain Management Research Institute and Director Painaustralia, Professor Michael Cousins, congratulated the Minister and welcomed today’s announcement.

"The Plan provides continuity of funding to expand the breadth of clinical care for people with pain - currently one of the most neglected areas of health care.

"The allocation of funding to pain centres in both metropolitan and regional areas and the establishment of new regional multidisciplinary pain centres will help ensure that people who are currently unable to access pain services, will be able to do so, without travelling long distances.

A major boost to pain research and education

Significantly, the plan also provides the first major ongoing commitment by any Australian government to basic and clinical pain research through special funding of the Pain Management Research Institute (PMRI).

"The PMRI already has an international reputation and is currently involved in ground-breaking pain research. The commitment from the NSW Government will undoubtedly lead to new treatments, with a major opportunity of translation to clinical care" said Professor Cousins

The PMRI will also be funded to play a key role in pain education, utilising a program recognised internationally as being crucial to improving pain care at all levels.

"Today is a fundamental step forward for pain education in this State, and in this country. We now have the only major pain education program in Australia funded by government," said Professor Cousins.

The PMRI, a joint initiative of the University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital, offers a web-based Certificate, Diploma and Masters qualification in Pain Management.

The National Pain Strategy (2010) is Australia’s framework for the best practice assessment, treatment and management of acute, chronic and cancer pain.

Please read here the original Painaustralia Media Release.

Painaustralia Newsletter: $5 Million Allocated for NSW Pain Plan

Painaustralia Newsletter: NSW State Government will spend $5 million on the Statewide Pain Plan

The NSW State Government has allocated $5 million towards the Statewide Pain Plan in the Budget, announced in June. This news was welcomed by the Agency for Clinical Innovation Pain Network which has been working to develop the plan over the past 12 months.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner is currently finalising the details of the allocation, working collaboratively with clinicians and consumers through the ACI Network. An announcement on this is expected in mid July.

Co-Chair of the Network, Damien Finniss said, “Members of the Network are delighted with the Government’s commitment to a dedicated Pain Plan for NSW, especially given the current tight economic environment.”


Please read here the full Painaustralia newsletter on the Painaustralia Website.

Pain patients abandoned despite unanimous vote of Committee on Petitions?

German Pain League (Deutsche Schmerzliga) Press Release: Will the Ministry of Health abandon pain patients despite the unanimous vote of the Committee on Petitions?

Berlin – Obligatory exchange of strong analgesics should be abolished due to a change in German drug law

Pain patients who are dependent on strong and effective opioid analgesics to ease their aches and pains now hope that after more than a year their most important political request will be considered: The Committee on Petitions of the German Bundestag unanimously decided to end the obligation of automatically exchanging painkillers, which fall under the German narcotic regulation, and asked the Ministry of Health to implement this political intention. Nonetheless, as the biggest patient organisation for people living with chronic pain in Germany, the German Pain League is vehemently concerned about this development. Due to a current amendment of the German Medicines Act (AMG) the German Pain League fears that the patients´ request will be completely ignored. Again the Ministry seems to try to particularly blame doctors being guilty of self-government. The patient organisation is convinced that the amendment of CDU/CSU and FDP is avoiding a clear rule in favor of chronic pain patients and thus missing the chance of changing the law accordingly. One is afraid that the patients concerned will suffer from these political intrigues which delegate responsibility to doctors and pharmacists.

Here you can find here the original press release (German) of the German Pain League.

NSW Health Minister Congratulates Painaustralia

The Hon Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research, has formally congratulated "Painaustralia" on its achievements in its first year since formation in February 2011. In a letter to CEO Lesley Brydon, the Minister wrote, "I congratulate the significant achievements identified in Painaustralia's Annual Report which are well aligned with the strategic objectives of the National Pain Strategy."

"The benefit of the work undertaken by Painaustralia to the consumers of health services in NSW is commended. Your organisation [Painaustralia] has improved the profile of pain in the community, particularly in the primary care sector... [and] on a national level", the minister commented. 

"It is always heartening to get positive feedback, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside our members, supporters and stakeholders in order to achieve the objectives of the National Pain Strategy," said Painaustralia.

Please find here the original news message. Please find here the annual report 2011 of Painaustralia.

German Pain Society Announces 26th Pain Research Award 2012

Deadline for submission: 31 May 2012

This year for the 26th time the German Pain Society will hand out the Pain Research Award. With this prize for executing pain research, doctors, psychologists and scientists are encouraged to do work in the field of applied and basic research on acute and chronic pain.

A first as well as a second prize will be handed out in the categories "clinical research" and "basic research". A jury will determine the decide to whom the awards will be handed out. Entries can be received until the 31st of May.

More information about this award, procedures and how to apply can be found here in the Pain Research Award 2012 flyer.

SIP 2012 received endorsement from Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers

SIP 2012 has officially received the patronage of the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers (Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri).

Signed by the General Secretary of the Presidency (Segretario Generale Presidenza Consiglio Ministri), the President of the Council of Minister resembles the Italian government, which now has confirmed its endorsement of the scientific aims of the 3rd symposium on the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP 2012). 

Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
Centro Messaggi
Piazza Colonna 370 
00187 Roma

"6th European Patients’ Rights Day 2012"

Active Citizenship Network is glad to invite you

to attend the European event of the 6th European Patients' Rights Day: " Active Ageing citizens at the center of EU health policy " on the 15-16 of May 2012, in the EESC, Brussels (Van Maerlant Building, Room VM3 - 2nd floor 2, rue Van Maerlant).

The number of ageing citizens is rapidly increasing (Europeans aged 65+ is expected to increase by 45% between 2008 and 2030, and even further to over 30% of the population by 2060) the issues of their access to health care services and the respect of their rights as patients are becoming central and extremely challenging.

The objective of the conference is thus to demonstrate that part of the solution resides in a change of perspective vis-à-vis ageing citizens, from weak patients into "empowered users" of health care services, able to contribute to a better implementation of their rights.

It will be the occasion to bring together a wide range of stakeholders throughout Europe:

to reflect on what is currently being done regarding ageing patients’ rights and to discuss how the involvement of ageing patients/users in citizens’ organisations dealing with health, can contribute to the well-being of the whole community, as well as to a better management of the crisis faced by healthcare services in all EU countries.

The conference would like to contribute, thanks to the collection and sharing of a research on best practices from all EU countries, to the development of public policies for the active involvement of ageing patients in the health policy and to reveal the concrete benefits of this approach.

The aim is to promote a broader alliance between citizens’ and patients’ organisations as well as with other important health care stakeholders, identifying together Recommendations that can be used at European and national level for the active ageing involvement in health policy.

The European conferences will include at least 180 participants among which representatives of the European Institutions, national and/or regional health care departments; national citizens’ and patients’ organizations; European networks; European and national associations of hospitals, doctors and nurses; the health care industry.

As the places available are limited, the registration is needed, please fill in the registration form attached as soon as possible and send it by e-mail to:

Please feel free to spread the invitation to your contacts if interested.

Yours sincerely,

Teresa Petrangolini
Director Active Citizenship Network

Contact person: Daniela Quaggia

Chronic Pain Ireland Newsletter - now available!

Chronic Pain in Ireland: The current & future management options

Endorsing organisation Chronic Pain Ireland (CPI) has published their latest newsletter with information on 

• Chronic Pain - Current & Future Management
• GABA puts Brakes on Pain Transmission
• GP - Listening Helps
• Workshops - My personal experience
• Why Self-Management Helps

Read the full Chronic Pain Ireland Newsletter, Edition March 2012. 

Pictures avaialable - PAE website launch in EU Parliament

Official website launch of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) 
Pan-European alliance for chronic pain patients presents new website in EU Parliament

Invited by Member of European Parliament Jim Higgins (Ireland) the Pain Alliance Europe will officially launch its new website in the European Parliament on 28 March 2012. The pan-European network of 18 non-governmental organisations from 11 EU countries was officially founded on 29 November 2011. It aims to bring together national and local organisations and patient groups which represent patient interest in addressing the issue of chronic pain at European level.

Already one in every four Europeans is suffering from excruciating pain, 100 million alone in the 27 EU states with half of them not being treated or even taken seriously. Whereas rheumatic, orthopedic and cancer pains are recognized ailments with many groups lobbying for their recognition and proper treatment, chronic pain as a disease is virtually unknown to healthcare professionals and the general public at large.

Please view the pictures and read the full press release PAE website launch


PAE website launch in EU Parliament

Official website launch of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) 
Pan-European alliance for chronic pain patients presents new website in EU Parliament

Invited by Member of European Parliament Jim Higgins (Ireland) the Pain Alliance Europe will officially launch its new website in the European Parliament on 28 March 2012. The pan-European network of 18 non-governmental organisations from 11 EU countries was officially founded on 29 November 2011. It aims to bring together national and local organisations and patient groups which represent patient interest in addressing the issue of chronic pain at European level.

Already one in every four Europeans is suffering from excruciating pain, 100 million alone in the 27 EU states with half of them not being treated or even taken seriously. Whereas rheumatic, orthopedic and cancer pains are recognized ailments with many groups lobbying for their recognition and proper treatment, chronic pain as a disease is virtually unknown to healthcare professionals and the general public at large.

Please read the full press release PAE website launch. 


Dutch Pain Society and Pain Alliance Europe recommend to participate at SIP 2012

Two major organisations representing pain management in the Netherlands recommend to participate at SIP 2012

The Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) unites European organisations for pain patients. The Dutch Pain Society (DPS) is a multidisciplinary association that strives to develop and improve scientific research and the treatment of chronic pain. Representatives of both organizations will be present at the SIP 2012. The joint recommendation from PAE and DPS can be regarded as a real milestone in the collaboration between pain patient and pain physician representatives in the Netherlands. 

Letter of recomendation by PAE and DPS

Become an Endorsing Organisation for SIP 2012

Create awareness for the Societal Impact of Pain

Last year more than 85 international organisations, institutions and patient advocacy groups endorsed the scientific aims of SIP 2011 (Endorsing Organisations SIP 2011). 

This year SIP 2012 will take place in Copenhagen/Denmark on 29-31 May. The SIP 2012 symposium is hosted by the Danish Association for Chronic Pain Patients (FAKS). The scientific framework of SIP 2012 is under the responsibility of the European Federation of IASP® Chapters (EFIC®). The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH is responsible for funding and non-financial support (e.g. logistical support). 

If you and/or your oganisation would like to become an endorser of the aims of SIP 2012, please contact us.

Launch of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)

First pan-European Alliance of Pain Patient Advocacy Groups

A historic pan-European organization was launched in the European Parliament in Brussels on 29 November: The newly formed Pain Alliance Europe is a network of 18 NGO’s currently representing 11 European countries and aims to raise awareness for people living under constant pain with neither adequate treatment nor the understanding of what this means to the life quality of the individual.

Under the Chairmanship of Marian Harkin, Irish Member of the European Parliament, as well as in presence of the EU Commission, the group of currently more than 40 members was officially announced, following by the first Alliance meeting where the Board of Directors was elected. Objective of the group is to call on European governments and EU Institutions to put a “Road Map for Action”on the societal impact of pain on their policy agenda.

The full PAE press kit includes a list of members, background material and the press release as Italian, Spanish, German and French version.