progress has been made to improve care for people suffering from chronic pain,
Health Secretary Alex Neil said yesterday.
Mr Neil was
speaking as the Scottish Government published its response to a consultation on
the provision of chronic pain services, confirming the decision to establish a
new national centre for treating patients based at a single location.
More than 75 per
cent of respondents to the consultation said that was their favoured
NHS boards have
until the end of April to express an interest in hosting the new service. An
announcement on the final location will be made around the end of
service will deliver residential courses for patients and carers on how to cope
with the effects of chronic pain, and how to manage their condition.
The response to
the chronic pain consultation sets out some of the improvements made to chronic
pain services, including a £1.3 million investment in service
improvements, pain management programmes established in eight health boards
with three more on the way, and a service model which all boards have committed
It also details
some of the challenges facing people with chronic pain, including travel costs,
access to information and referral difficulties.
Mr Neil said:
“I’d like to thank everyone who responded to the national
consultation, which will be invaluable in helping us to further improve
services for chronic pain, and for pinpointing where difficulties
quite clear to me that there is considerable support for a national centre of
excellence to be based here in Scotland, so that patients no longer have to
travel hundreds of miles to the south west of England. I look forward to being
able to announce the location of the new service as soon as possible.
pain can be a debilitating condition, but if managed well, patients can
continue to lead fulfilling lives.
proud of the progress we’ve made so far. More work needs to be done, but
measures like the new national steering group, pain management programmes
across more boards, and the national service model will all drive up standards,
cut waiting times and deliver a better level of service across
Smith has been named as the new national clinical lead for chronic pain.
Professor Blair, a consultant in pain medicine at NHS Tayside, and a professor
of population health science at the University of Dundee, will replace Dr Steve
Gilbert. He will begin his new role on 1st May.
Government’s response to the national chronic pain consultation can be
Some of the
measures taken by the Scottish Government to improve chronic pain services
£1.3 million in service improvements
• Established a national steering group for chronic pain, and a support
group to share best practice
• Outpatient pain management programmes have been set up in eight health
boards, and are under development in three others
• Launch of a Scottish chronic pain website - http://chronicpainscotland.org
• Developed a service model which all boards have committed to
• Improved guidance on a range of interventions which can alleviate pain
such as acupuncture and electrotherapy