UK Parliamentary Questions on Pain Management answered

Pain Management Training & Quality Outcomes Framework

Lord Luce asked the UK parliament two questions regarding Pain Management training for healthcare professionals and the Quality Outcomes Framework (QoF). The Quality Outcomes Framework is important, since this is how doctors prioritise targets and how targets are reimbursed. These two questions have now been answered. 

The first question was answered on 16 February and can be viewed below. (UK Parliament Column WA178)

First question asked by Lord Luce: To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps are being taken to improve the management of the quality of life of people with long-term conditions, such as chronic pain, through the quality and outcomes framework. [HL15500]

Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government will hold the National Health Service to account for improving patient outcomes as specified in the NHS outcomes framework. The second domain of the framework relates to improvements in the quality of life of people with long-term conditions such as chronic pain. Pain is one of the five dimensions of the overarching indicator used to assess improvements in this domain.

The second question was answered on 14 February and can also be viewed below. (UK Parliament Column WA153)

Second question asked by Lord Luce: To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are taking steps to incorporate training in chronic pain management in the curricula of all healthcare professionals, following the recommendation in the Chief Medical Officer's 2008 annual report. [HL15499]

Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The content and standard of healthcare training is the responsibility of the independent regulatory bodies. Through their role as the custodians of quality standards in education and practice, these organisations are committed to ensuring that healthcare professionals are equipped with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to deal with the problems and conditions they will encounter in practice, including where appropriate pain management. Once established, a key role of Health Education England will be to develop strong working relationships with the professions and the independent professional regulators in order to promote quality in education and training and responsiveness to innovation and changing service models.

Training in the principles of pain management already form part of the pre-registration and postgraduate curricula of relevant health professionals. In the specific case of general medical practitioners, the possible need for some further initiative to improve skills in chronic pain management is being considered by the Royal College of General Practitioners as one of its current clinical priorities.

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