Pain management - service delivery framework: consultation analysis

This summary presents key findings from the independent analysis of responses to our consultation on the framework for pain management service delivery which ran from 6 December 2021 to 28 February 2022.


Background to the consultation

This report presents the independent analysis of responses to the Scottish Government's consultation on the Framework for Pain Management Service delivery (the Framework).

Chronic pain is estimated to affect 30 – 50% of the adult UK population, with an estimated 5% of the Scottish population experiencing disabling, high-impact pain. Support for people with chronic pain should be available in a range of health and care settings depending on its impact on their quality of life. Despite considerable policy and service-related improvement activity in recent years, people with chronic pain continue to report difficulties in accessing and navigating formal and informal support to help them manage their condition. Services and access to support have also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These issues were recognised by the Scottish Government's Programme for Government in 2020 which outlined a commitment to develop a new Framework for Pain Management Service Delivery in 2021. The public consultation has been carried out on a draft of the Framework which has been developed through analysis of past reports and recommendations, analysis of available service data and engagement with those with lived experienced and clinical, NHS, research and other key stakeholder groups.

The consultation document sets out a draft vision for chronic pain services in Scotland in addition to key priorities, commitments and early actions identified to address the issues identified during development of the Framework. It also offers the opportunity for stakeholders to identify opportunities and barriers to implementing its aims, and to highlight key groups who may be impacted directly, or indirectly by the policies therein.

The consultation was launched on 6 December 2021 and closed on 28 February 2022. The consultation paper can be found here.

The consultation asked 26 questions, with 16 closed questions and 10 open questions inviting comment.

Profile of main consultation respondents

In total 114 responses were received. Where consent has been given to publish the response it can be found on the Scottish Government's Citizen Space public consultation portal.

Respondents were asked to identify whether they were responding as an individual or on behalf of a group or organisation. Twenty six responses were submitted by organisations and 88 by individual members of the public.

Organisational respondents were allocated to one of four groups by the analysis team and the Scottish Government.

A breakdown of the number of responses received by respondent type is set out in Table 1 below and a full list of organisational respondents can be found in Annex 1.

Table 1: Respondents by type
Type of respondent Number
NHS 12
Representative body 6
Third sector 6
Other 2
Organisations 26
Individuals 88
All respondents 114

In their further comments, a number of individual respondents referred to their own lived experience of chronic pain. Other individual respondents identified themselves as being clinicians, and sometimes as working or as having worked in pain management services.

In addition to the responses received from individuals and organisations, the Scottish Government held two discussion groups drawn from those working in pain specialist services. The feedback from these discussions has also been included within the analysis.

Analysis and reporting

The remainder of this report presents a question-by-question analysis of the comments made to the main consultation.

A small number of respondents did not make their submission on the consultation questionnaire but submitted their comments in a statement-style format. This content was analysed under the most directly relevant consultation questions.

The feedback from the two discussion groups was also included within the analysis. The groups discussed the aims and commitments of the Framework, meaning their feedback was relevant to Questions 5, 9, 13 and 17.

The results of the closed questions are covered within the main body of the report and are presented in full in Annex 2.

As with any public consultation exercise, it should be noted that those responding generally have a particular interest in the subject area and the views they express cannot be seen as representative of wider public opinion.



Back to top