Chronic Pain Policy Coalition 2019 Pain Platform

On the 25th of June 2019 the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition (CPPC) hosted a patient centric Pain Platform meeting at the House of Lords, to explore the burden of chronic pain in England, and how policy can be improved to support patient outcomes. The meeting was sponsored by The Rt Hon. the Lord Luce and hosted by the CPPC.

The Pain Platform meeting was financially supported by a grant from Grünenthal Ltd.

Attending the event were over 50 individuals from across the chronic pain policy landscape, including representatives from patient organisations, NHS England, clinicians, parliamentarians, government officials and industry.

Lord Luce opened the meeting, calling for a National Pain Advisory Board, to ensure patients living with long term pain are properly monitored. Despite the discontinuation of the Fit for Work scheme, Lord Luce also reiterated that support for patients and employers should continue to ensure work retention.

The Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA), presented outputs from a new survey which was a collaboration between ARMA and Grünenthal Ltd (UK). Adelphi Research UK conducted the survey with sole funding from Grünenthal Ltd (UK). The aim of the survey was to understand the patient journey, the issues, and the possible impact caused by any potential inequity of access to services surrounding chronic pain. Keyrecommendations emerging from the survey included, improvement in patient involvement, equitable access to specialist services, pain to be afforded the sampriority as other long-term conditions, availability of regular pain reviews, quicker referrals and improvement in access to information.

Sean Jennings talked about living with chronic pain for 25 years and the Pain Management Programme that “saved his life”. Sean suggested there should be more information available for patients and GPs, and speaking about initiation of opioids, called for a contract in place between the patient and the clinician, with clear timelines for review. Sean is currently working with NHS England, producing videos that will help to support and inform patients who live with chronic pain. He also works very closely with Dr Jim Huddy to support patients across Cornwall.

Dr Huddy, NHS Kernow Chronic Pain Lead, presented on the changes that have been made in supporting chronic pain patients in Cornwall since 2016 throughout primary care. Dr Huddy’s geography has its own opioid strategy in place, with the aim of driving de-medicalisation of chronic pain. Dr Huddy stated that where medicines are prescribed, it should be the right medicine for the right patient, at the right time. Cornwall has adopted a pain care ‘onion’ which puts the patient at the centre, all other layers support and enable the patient.

Dr Paul Cameron, National Chronic Pain Coordinator, Scottish Government, presented on his experience of shaping pain policy in Scotland and key learnings for England and how these can be implemented. Dr Cameron reiterated the importance of gaining Government support and the development of a National Advisory Committee that is endorsed by Government to drive change.

Dr Ganesan Baranidharan, Consultant Anaesthetist, Pain Management Service, presented the Faculty of Pain Medicine joint Outcome Measures guidance and its implementation. The document was prepared to guide pain services across the country in selection of the most appropriate outcome measures for their needs. It describes outcome scales appropriate to pain management. The measures do not cover diagnostic and screening tools, nor direct measurement of physical performance, rather scales that are completed by patients themselves before and after treatment.

Dr Martin Johnson, Co-Chair of the CPPC, presented on the need to implement regular reviews for individuals living with chronic pain. The Annual Review, a piece of pain policy that the CPPC and its partners have been pushing for some time, would allow individuals living with the condition, and their GPs or other healthcare professionals, to regularly review their pain management services, and to assess what is working well and what is not. Whilst there is an abundance of guidelines that recommends this policy, so far, it has not been widely implemented, to the detriment of patients living with chronic pain.

The CPPC will be writing up a full report of the event, which will carry forward the key themes and recommendations made by the Pain Platform’s speakers and attendees. The report will be shared with the events’ attendees and CPPC affiliates. It will also be shared here, on the CPPC website.




The Pain Platform meeting is financially supported by a grant from Grünenthal Ltd.  Grünenthal have not had any influence over the selection of participants, nor the material content of, or subsequent outputs of the meeting.