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Airing Pain 21: Opioids and Managing Pain in Remote Areas

How people in remote areas manage pain, and when and how to take opioids

This programme was funded by a grant from Big Lottery Fund, Awards for All (Scotland) and by an educational grant from Pfizer.

In this programme we hear about the challenges facing people with chronic pain in isolated parts of the country and how a pain management programme in the Highlands is helping such patients. Dr Cathy Stannard clears up some of the misunderstandings surrounding opioids and explains when they can and can’t help with chronic pain and the possible side-effects of taking them.

Issues covered in this programme include: Opioids, mobility, remote/rural areas, pacing, multidisciplinary, tele-medicine, telephone consultation, highlands and islands, patient and staff travel, small communities, healthcare network, neuropathic pain, post-surgical pain, cancer, side effects, opioid withdrawal, mindfulness and breathing exercises.


  • Jackie Milburn. Clinical Nurse Manager, Chronic Pain Service, NHS Highland
  • Dr John Macleod, Consultant Anaesthetist, NHS Highland
  • Dr Cathy Stannard, Consultant in Pain Medicine, Frenchay Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust.
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