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Pain Concern Statement on new NICE guidelines for management of chronic primary pain

12 April 2021

Pain Concern know from calls and emails to our helpline that these new guidelines are causing distress and anxiety to people living with chronic pain. Whilst we welcome the guidance on collaborative working between patients and healthcare professionals, and are pleased that the guidelines support a patient-centred assessment and encourage clinicians to recognise that chronic primary pain can coexist with chronic secondary pain, we share the concerns raised by Blair Smith and Lesley Colvin, in their letter to the British Journal of General Practice of 2nd February, that “chronic pain has such an important impact on the lives of people who live with it that we need every tool available in our toolbox to help in its management. Now is not the time to reduce our options”.

In addition, Pain Concern broadly agrees with the statement from the Faculty of Pain Medicine, particularly the concerns that the way in which ICD-11 Classification of Disease has been used does not reflect clinical practice or the current research base. As we feel the guidance is based upon crafted-together evidence rather than scientifically-strong evidence, then to remove much of the current toolbox seems to be poor timing in our view.

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