Who We Are
Pain Concern is a charity working to support and inform
people with pain and those who care for them, whether
family, friends or healthcare professionals.
We believe that pain is best faced together by the ‘Pain
Community’ of people with pain, their family, supporters
and healthcare professionals. This ideal is reflected in the
make-up of the Pain Concern team.
Our patrons are Dame Anne Begg and Professor Sir Michael Bond. Anne was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 in recognition of her tireless campaigning for the interests of disabled people and for equal opportunities. She has been particularly committed to lobbying for better provision of pain relief services. Michael is Emeritus Professor of Psychological Medicine, University of Glasgow and, among many honours, was knighted in 1995 for Services to Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on the psychological aspects of pain.
Pain Concern is constituted as a members’ association and is governed by its constitution. It is a recognised charity in Scotland (SC023559)
Pain Concern is a Company limited by guarantee no. SC546994
The charity trustees comprise the members of the Executive Committee.
Pain Concern relies on the work of unpaid volunteers who man our helpline, deliver leaflets, staff our busy office and help to produce content for the radio show, newsletter and website.
The organisations we work closely with include IASP and the UK pain societies, Pain UK, the Scottish Government’s Chronic Pain Steering Group, and the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition.
From the very beginning Pain Concern has brought together people living with pain and healthcare professionals specialising in this area to provide support and information and to campaign and advocate for better awareness, understanding, treatment and management of pain. Our charity grew out of a patient group formed to consult with Lothian Health Board’s Needs Assessment for chronic pain in 1994 and a support group for people who had completed a pain management programme at Astley Ainslie Hospital, Edinburgh.
Pain Concern was founded on April 26th 1995. We began as a self-help group – for ten years we ran Astley Ainslie’s pain management support group – and we have also operated a helpline service since 1995. However, right from the start we were interested in policy and were involved in local campaigning. We were secretaries of the Scottish Cross-Party Group on Chronic Pain from 2003 to 2012. The work of the group was influential in achieving the government’s appointment of a national lead clinician for chronic pain.
Although we are registered as a charity in Scotland, and remain very closely involved in work with Scottish healthcare and government organisations, we have expanded our focus to work with pain clinics, medical specialists and volunteers from across the UK and our membership also reflects this.
Our work on providing information to people in pain began with the launch of Pain Matters magazine in 1995 and has continued through the production of leaflets which have proven popular with physiotherapy departments and pain clinics across UK, as well as individuals with chronic pain. In 2009 Pain Concern was awarded first place in the NAPP Chronic Pain Awards receiving a grant of £10,000 to develop an internet radio show aimed at those living with chronic pain. This allowed us to start a very successful collaboration with Sony-award winning broadcaster Paul Harvard Evans, who has now produced over 100 episodes of Airing Pain, our internet radio programme informing and supporting people living with pain.
Board of Trustees
BVM&S MSc DLAS FRCPath MRCVS
Trustee since23 August 2018
Role Hon. Treasurer
BiographyBorn August 1954, John was a Veterinary Surgeon who has worked in general practice, tropical disease investigation (in Yemen), toxicological pathology (supporting drug safety evaluation) and laboratory animal welfare. John is currently a member of the management team at the Edinburgh site of Charles River Laboratories, where they help clients develop new medicines and agricultural products. John chairs the committee running Haddington Concert Society a concert promoting society running professional classical music concerts in Haddington, East Lothian.
Trustee since7 November 2019
RoleCo-Chair, Senior Safeguarding Lead
BiographyBorn December 1959. Mick Serpell is a Consultant in Anaesthesia & Pain Medicine for Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS, and Senior Lecturer at Glasgow University. He is Series Editor for Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine, is Associate Editor for Pain Management, sits on the Advisory Board for European Journal of Pain, and reviews articles for several other pain related Journals. He is examiner for the FFPMRCA for the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
He has received honoraria from Astellas, Grünenthal, NAPP and Pfizer for speaking at meetings. His institution has received research support in the past 5 years from numerous commercial sponsored studies.
MB BCH, DCH, FRCA, FFPMRCA
Trustee since01 July 2021
RoleCo-Chair, Medical Advisor
BiographyCathy is a consultant in Pain Medicine in Southampton and has worked there since 1999. She provides medical services for people with long term pain. To do this she works in a multidisciplinary pain clinic, provides theatre lists for nerve blocks and also covers inpatient wards. Cathy is also a Clinical Director for Solent NHS Trust for a variety of differing services including general practice and musculoskeletal services. She undertakes research into several aspects of pain management, including the effectiveness of nerve blocks, employment issues and pain and developing pain registries. Cathy also leads a National Pain Audit for four years and won a Medical Futures award for Innovation in 2005 and was made an Honorary Member of the British Pain Society in 2014.
BSc(Hons) PGCert. MCSP
Trustee since01 July 2021
BiographyRichard is a physiotherapist by professional background and worked in community musculoskeletal (MSK), occupational health and pain management services for 10 years. He is now Head of NHS Service Development for Connect Health, the largest independent provider of community MSK, pain management and rheumatology services to the NHS in England. In addition Richard is Campaign Director for Flippin’ PainTM (www.flippinpain.co.uk), a public health campaign focused on engaging, educating and empowering communities towards a contemporary understanding of pain science and management.
MCSP, BSc (Hons); MSc. Psych; PhD
Trustee since05 July 2023
BiographyPat is a physiotherapist by first profession, followed by a BSc Hons and an MSc in Psychology, in the late 70’s, from Stirling University. The M.Sc. Research topics were; evaluating TENS for joint pain in haemophilia and the multidimensional assessment of chronic pain. Her PhD topic (awarded by the University of Queensland, 1998) examined the multidimensional prediction of pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis. She taught pain science and chronic pain management to physiotherapy students in Australia and Scotland from 1980 till 2022. Principal teaching posts were; the University of Queensland, Australia (15 years) and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (7 years).
Pat has been Convener & Chair of the IASP Special Interest Group on Pain & Movement (5 years); Associate Editor ‘Physiotherapy ’ journal (10 years); Convener, `Let’s Move Pain’ a 3-day symposium on pain research for Australian physiotherapists; Convener & principal lecturer ‘People in Pain’ (an elective module for health and social science postgraduates); Associate lecturer on the postgraduate & pre reg. M.Sc. modules on pain (University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University) and tutor on pain education for Pain Concern Helpline volunteers. Her main research areas and publications are on TENS for MSK conditions, cancer and arterial disease; pain in survivors of torture and placebo analgesia.
Trustee since05 July 2023
As a graphic designer, Adrian has spent many years working with clients’ on their marketing campaigns and online presence. Fifteen years ago, after suffering a spinal injury, Adrian found himself suffering from chronic neuropathic pain and has recently been diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND).
Adrian says 'Pain Concern, and the Airing Pain podcast helped me a lot, when coming to terms with living with pain on a daily basis and the impact it has had on my life'.
Trustee since05 July 2023
RoleCEO, Deputy for Safeguarding
Heather is the Founder and Chief Executive of Pain Concern and has recently joined the Board of Trustees.