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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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