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The Pain Service History

Background to The Pain Service

Chronic pain is a major cause of distress, disability, and work loss, and it is becoming increasingly prevalent through the general move towards an ageing population, which impacts dramatically upon society and health care systems worldwide. A study in 2006 noted that 6.6 million people were reported to be suffering from chronic pain and yet only 12,000 attended a pain management programme. This means that only 0.18 % of chronic pain sufferers had access to an appropriate treatment service. Currently this figure has risen to over 8 million people and still increasing.

Many people who suffer from chronic pain and are referred to a multi-disciplinary pain management programme derive substantial benefits from the intervention, assisting in the chronic pain sufferer regaining their sense of well-being, reintegrating in a more active life style and enhancing their ability to re-engage in work. However, often such programmes have a long waiting list, and it could be several years before patients are seen. Furthermore, the availability of interdisciplinary pain management services varies immensely from region to region.

There is clearly extensive need for comprehensive pain management services to be widely available to patients and referring agents.

Often established pain management programmes are run in groups, requiring the patient to be available on a particular day on a regular basis for, perhaps, an intensive programme, run over maybe two or three weeks on a daily basis, or over a 12 week weekly basis.  Alternatively pain management programmes may be offered on an inpatient basis, where patients are required to stay at the hospital or clinic where the programme is based. These may not always be easily accessible and the expense of such inpatient programmes can also be prohibitive.

The Pain Service pain management approach has been designed to specifically meet the needs of our patients and our customers/referring agents. Our treatment programme has been designed to focus upon the essential components of pain management within a biopsychosocial model, in addressing both psychological and physical approaches to chronic pain, using expert psychological therapists and physiotherapists who have experience in chronic pain management.

Given our extensive network of appropriately qualified psychological therapists and physiotherapists, with some 300 clinic locations currently available (although this is constantly increasing) our treatment programmes are easily accessible to patients and offer good flexibility in service provision, all of which are recognised as essential components to enable patients to engage and fully benefit from their treatment. It also enables a consistent treatment approach to be made available throughout the UK with the quality of the treatment provided being ensured through regular supervision of all our consultant’s work.

Through a focus on one to one therapy, our treatment programmes can be individually tailored to meet our client’s needs. In addition, this will also mean that our services will complement others available, for example supporting patients who have perhaps attended an inpatient programme in their maintenance of recovery when returning back to their home environment.