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33rd Edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Dr. Brona Fullen & Mr. Joop van Griensven – European Pain Federation EFIC & Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), Belgium

Dear reader,
I hope that you are well as we begin to see some re-opening of society.

As we enter a new phase of recovery and gradual return to “a new normal”, European Union (EU) leaders, European institutions, social partners, and civil society representatives recently reinforced their commitment to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights at the Porto Social Summit in May 2021. Organised under the auspices of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, delegates co-signed the Porto Social Commitment which includes actions relating to employment policy. SIP, in 2020 endorsed the implementation of the Social Pillar, and at the beginning of March, responded to the European Commission’s consultation on the Strategic Framework 2021-2027 for Health and Safety at Work in the EU. This maps well with one of SIPs priorities for 2021, which is to focus on influencing employment-related policies in line with our long-term objectives. (Read more about our position paper on workplace integration and adaptation below).

On a related note, SIP recently became partners of EU-OSHA’s Healthy Workplaces - Lighten the Load 2020-2022 campaign, focusing on work-related musculoskeletal diseases. EU-OSHA is the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health, and aims to make European workplaces safer, healthier, and more productive. You can find more information on the objectives of the campaign, why SIP joined it, and how you can become involved here.

In March this year, SIP held a virtual meeting entitled “Ensuring Europe's Beating Cancer Plan addresses cancer pain in quality of life, survivorship, and palliative care”, to identify the gaps in the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (EBCP) related to cancer pain. The meeting was a success, with SIP partner organisations and stakeholders agreeing on several recommendations to ensure the effective implementation of the EBCP related to quality of life, survivorship, and palliative care. You can read them here. To ensure we can continue contributing to the implementation of the EBCP, SIP recently joined the European Commission’s Stakeholder Contact Group for the EBCP.

At the beginning of May, SIP held the second National Platforms call (NPC) of the year where participants had an in-depth discussion of their experiences in pain patient care pathways. Participants also had the opportunity to hear the results of the EFIC survey on the effects of COVID-19 on pain management throughout Europe, as well as the PAE survey on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Europeans with Chronic Pain. A follow-up working group is currently being formed to combine the results, produce joint recommendations, create a joint brochure, and work on a joint publication on this topic.

Related to surveys, Pain Alliance Europe has launched a new survey on “Diagnostics and Treatments”. This is a second version of the one conducted in 2017. It will compare the responses from four years ago with the situation now, to see if there have been improvements over the past four years. You have time until 30 of May to complete it. Take it here.

Over the coming months, SIP will be working on preparing two position papers: one on workplace integration and adaptation, and another on digital health (pain measurement and quality indicators). We invite SIP National Platforms to provide input to these position papers, so please contact your National Platform leaders if you would like to be involved.

On the 23rd of June, PAE President Joop van Griensven, will finish his mandate. The SIP Team would like to thank Joop for his hard work and contributions to SIP over the years. SIP would also like to welcome the PAE President-Candidate, Deirdre Ryan, who we look forward to working with in the future!

Remember to follow us on our website and social media channels so you don’t miss anything! You can also keep up to date with SIP’s upcoming activities by checking out our events section.

Many thanks for your continued support and stay safe.


Best wishes,

Dr. Brona Fullen, President of European Pain Federation EFIC &
Mr. Joop van Griensven, President of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)

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