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Airing Pain 50: Pain Services in the Community

GPs surgery, telephone or pain clinic: where should pain management take place?

[For a Welsh language transcript please click here.]

This edition has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All Programme in Wales.

‘Good pain services, based in the community will make a huge difference to the lives of individuals and the NHS’, says Sue Beckman, speaking on behalf of the NHS’s Delivery and Support Unit at the Welsh Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting. But what does moving pain services into the community mean?

Beckman, together with pain specialists Mark Ritchie, Mark Turtle and Rob Davies debate the key issue of where pain management should take place.

General Practitioners (GPs) are often those closest to ‘the community’ – they often see patients over the course of years, but limited training in chronic pain and lack of time in appointments pose problems. The panellists also discuss the challenges of bringing services closer to the isolated communities of rural Wales while ensuring that as many people as possible can access pain services by public transport. Finally, could moving services away from the pain clinic ‘demedicalise’ chronic pain by causing healthcare professionals and their patients ‘to think outside the box’?

Issues covered in this programme include: Community healthcare, GP, telephone consultation, remote/rural communities, small communities, primary care, secondary care, patient and staff travel, policy, multidisciplinary approach, funding and economic impact.


  • Mark Ritchie, GP specialising in pain management
  • Mark Turtle, Consultant Anaesthetist, West Wales General Hospital
  • Rob Davies, Consultant Anaesthetist, Pontypridd & Rhondda NHS Trust
  • Sue Beckman, Welsh Government Delivery and Support Unit.
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