National Initiatives United Kingdom

In this section, national initiatives which have been set up in the United Kingdom can be found.

Oct 2015: Core Standards for Pain Management Services in the UK

The CSPMS UK document presents high but realistic standards which are drawn from the evidence base.  It is written in sections comprising standards which are a ‘must’ and recommendations which are not simply aspirational but something to be worked towards where they are not currently in place.  As pain management evolves so too will these standards such that they become a contemporary and relevant resource for the future.

Alongside its multidisciplinary authorship the document has been out to extensive stakeholder consultation. Implicit in this is an acceptance of these standards such that these standards become the cornerstone of the delivery of pain management across the United Kingdom. The Report can he found here

18 Nov 2014: Better education on pain management

Summary of SIP 2014

Press Release for Dods Monitoring Parliamentary Magazine Piece

Brussels, 18th November 2014. Better education on pain management and the need to foster European best practice sharing was discussed at the 5th Symposium on the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP), an international multi stakeholder platform aimed at raising awareness for the impact that pain has on our societies, health and economic systems.

Pain therapy and palliative care were listed as a priority by the Italian Presidency of the EU Council and, for the first time ever, all EU ministers of health discussed this topic at the recent informal Health Council meeting in September. Delegates of the SIP symposium, endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Health, welcomed the EU health ministers’ decision to create a European network for the training of healthcare professionals and the sharing of information and best practicesi.

They discussed what measures are urgently required to ensure that pain therapy and palliative care remain priorities on the agenda of both the EU institutions and national governments. European countries should benefit from existing good practices to avoid inequalities in access to pain treatment and the Commission and member states should secure the necessary resources to ensure that such a network is put in place for the benefit of European patients, especially considering the needs of both the elderly and paediatric patients.

Read here the full UK SIP 2014 Press Release.

Feb 2014: The Painful Truth Report: 2,500 people with chronic pain tell their story

Patient and Client Council/ Northern Ireland - Your voice in health and social care

The Painful Truth: 2,500 people who live with chronic pain tell their story

The response to this project has been remarkable; more than 2,500 people with long-term pain took time to describe how pain affects their lives, to offer their views on the treatment and care they receive, and to suggest how pain services might improve in the future.

In total 2,525 people contributed to the study; 2,459 people completed a detailed questionnaire, 61 people participated in focus group discussions, and 5 people chose to talk about their experiences of long-term pain in a one-to-one interview.

In this report, the voices of those who suffer from long-term pain are strongest when they describe the impact of pain on their life. People describe the challenges and frustrations of dealing with chronic pain on a daily basis and give personal accounts of the effect of pain on their life.

As well as providing a detailed reflection of what it is like to live with pain on a daily basis, this report addresses a number of key findings in the following areas: –diagnosis, waiting for pain services, long-term support, treatment, and future services.

Read here the full Painful Truth Report (PDF).

March 2013: 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.
  • 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.
Nov 2012: Update Pain Toolkit- Guidebook

"The Pain Toolkit" provides helpful advice on how to manage your pain

This informative booklet is for people who live with persistent pain. One of the two authors, Pete Moore, 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.
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May 2012: BBC Interview on chronic pain

BBC Radio Broadcast on Chronic Pain

Following the Northern Ireland Assembly Event on Pain Policy, this radio interview with politician Jim Wells (MLA) and Dr. Pamela Bell was recorded and broadcast by BBC on 1 May 2012.

Listen here to the full BBC Interview.