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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.

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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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