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Airing Pain 96: The British Pain Society at 50

In hon­our of the British Pain Soci­ety reach­ing a 50-year mile­stone, cur­rent BPS pres­i­dent Dr Andrew Bara­nows­ki, found­ing mem­ber Pro­fes­sor Sir Michael Bond, and Pain Concern’s chair Heather Wal­lace were invit­ed to dis­cuss a wide vari­ety of top­ics relat­ing to the under­stand­ing of pain

This pro­gramme was fund­ed by an edu­ca­tion­al grant from Napp Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals Ltd.

In 2017, the British Pain Soci­ety cel­e­brat­ed its fifti­eth year as one of the fore­most organ­i­sa­tions for fur­ther­ing the under­stand­ing of pain, and is now the old­est and largest mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary pain-focused organ­i­sa­tion in the UK.

Found­ed as The Pain Group in 1967, its mem­ber­ship was lim­it­ed pure­ly to anaes­thetists work­ing in pain clin­ics.  In 1979, the organ­i­sa­tion reg­is­tered as a char­i­ty, chang­ing its name to the Intractable Pain Soci­ety of Great Britain and Ireland.

Over the years, the organ­i­sa­tion became increas­ing­ly mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary and, in 1988, changed its name to The Pain Soci­ety to reflect this shift. The society’s mem­ber­ship and activ­i­ties con­tin­ued to grow, and in 2004 the Pain Soci­ety trans­ferred all its assets to an organ­i­sa­tion with char­i­ta­ble sta­tus and became The British Pain Society.

As the largest pro­fes­sion­al organ­i­sa­tion in the field of pain, the BPS con­tin­ues to strive to pro­vide an evi­dence-based, mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary approach to rais­ing aware­ness for those liv­ing with pain, and to ele­vate pain edu­ca­tion and management.

To cel­e­brate this sto­ried fifty years, Pain Con­cern invit­ed Dr Andrew Bara­nows­ki, cur­rent pres­i­dent of the BPS, Pro­fes­sor Sir Michael Bond, one of the world’s lead­ing author­i­ties on the psy­cho­log­i­cal effects of pain and one of the peo­ple involved in the society’s ori­gins, to speak with Pain Concern’s chair Heather Wal­lace. This dis­cus­sion explores the past, present and future of The British Pain Society.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Abdom­i­nal pain, blad­der pain, can­cer, chemother­a­py, chron­ic pri­ma­ry pain, depres­sion, epilep­sy, fund­ing and avail­abil­i­ty of pain ser­vices, pol­i­cy, hypochon­dri­a­sis, pelvic pain, psy­chol­o­gy, reha­bil­i­ta­tion, research, seizures and trauma.


  • Dr Andrew Bara­nows­ki, British Pain Soci­ety President
  • Pro­fes­sor Sir Michael Bond, found­ing mem­ber and for­mer pres­i­dent of the BPS
  • Heather Wal­lace, Pain Con­cern Chair and BPS hon­orary member.

More infor­ma­tion:


I can’t tell you how much these pod­casts have helped me under­stand and feel val­i­dat­ed in my pain journey.
I am aware how­ev­er that so many peo­ple don’t have the lux­u­ry of time Or the will to under­stand that I have.
Although I would­n’t change one iota of any con­tent that I have heard over the years. Some­times I have longed for some fierce edit­ing pick­ing out nuggets that nail things. I remem­ber lis­ten­ing to a pro­gramme on dia­betes and some­one on there did so much to help me claw my way out of one of the many pits that I fall into, I felt val­i­dat­ed by a com­ment although I don’t have dia­betes. I have pain.
I often want to share snip­pets with the world and in par­tic­u­lar sign post med­ical pro­fes­sion­als. But to be effec­tive it needs to be short and sharp. (Unlike my reply!)
Or they won’t even try to engage.
In my dreams I imag­ine a “sound bites of snip­pets” added on the end. It’s just I think the pro­grammes are so well bal­anced and researched that I want to share them with the world.
These pod­casts for me real­ly are like a hand on my back encour­ag­ing me for­ward when I want to fall, I find one in my dark­est hours.
Car­ry on the good work.

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