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Airing Pain 43: Patient Involvement and Pain Management

Involv­ing pain patients in health ser­vices and learn­ing how to self-man­age pain whilst working

This pro­gramme was fund­ed by the Big Lot­tery Fund’s Awards For All pro­gramme in North­ern Ireland.

In this edi­tion of Air­ing Pain, Paul Evans trav­els to North­ern Ire­land to vis­it a patients’ organ­i­sa­tion, the Patient and Client Coun­cil. The Coun­cil pro­vides patients with an inde­pen­dent voice in the health and social care sys­tem by involv­ing those who live with chron­ic pain in the deci­sion-mak­ing process and sup­port­ing patients who wish to make a com­plaint, with the over­all aim of improv­ing patient ser­vices in North­ern Ireland.

Louise Skel­ly, Head of Oper­a­tions at the Coun­cil, describes her organisation’s work pro­mot­ing infor­ma­tion and advice across the health­care sys­tem and using patients’ expe­ri­ence, sug­ges­tions and sto­ries to raise aware­ness of chron­ic pain. She high­lights some of the advances and improve­ments that the Coun­cil has brought about in recent years.

Paul also speaks to pain patient and mem­ber of the Patient and Client Council’s pain strat­e­gy group, Jay Flood Cole­man, who shares his own per­son­al expe­ri­ence­sof chron­ic pain which has been com­pli­cat­ed fur­ther by a series of health issues.
Board mem­ber of the Patient and Client Coun­cil, Rena Shep­herd, who her­self lives with chron­ic pain, con­tributes with her first-hand exper­tise and explains that with lit­tle adjust­ment on the part of employ­ers, employ­ees suf­fer­ing from long-term pain con­di­tions can still work full-time and be pro­duc­tive, with self-man­age­ment pain cours­es prov­ing very beneficial.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Patient voice, patient expe­ri­ence, social care sys­tem, edu­cat­ing health­care pro­fes­sion­als, gaps in the health ser­vice, GP access, pol­i­cy, opi­oids, mak­ing com­plaints, dis­crim­i­na­tion, uro­gen­i­tal pain and cancer.


  • Louise Skel­ly, Head of Oper­a­tions at The Patient and Client Council
  • Jay Flood Cole­man, patient and Coun­cil strat­e­gy group member
  • Rena Shep­herd, board mem­ber of the Patient and Client Council.


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