Pain management service delivery framework: implementation plan update

The implementation plan update (2023) sets out our priorities and the actions we will take to reduce the impact of chronic pain on quality of life and wellbeing and improve information, care and services for people in Scotland.

Ministerial Foreword

Jenni Minto MSP, Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health:

“I am delighted to present this updated Implementation Plan for the Scottish Government’s Framework for Chronic Pain Service Delivery. By fulfilling our commitment to update the plan after its first year we have been able to reflect on our progress and renew our ambitions to help people living with chronic pain across Scotland.

“It is essential to recognise the profound impact chronic pain has on countless lives. It is not just a medical issue; it is a societal concern that demands an urgent and empathetic response. Chronic pain affects 1 in 5 of the Scottish population and can be a debilitating condition; having an effect on not only physical health but also having a significant impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. I understand living with an incurable, long term condition can be deeply distressing.

“That is why the Scottish Government is continuing to take decisive action to address the priorities people with chronic pain have told us matter most to them. From ensuring the impact of their condition is recognised and that they are treated with respect and compassion, investing in development of our staff, this updated Plan sets out actions which will lead to meaningful improvement for people with chronic pain.

“Since the Implementation Plan was first published in July 2022, we have made important steps to help us deliver our shared vision. Some achievements since the publication of the initial plan that I am particularly proud of are the creation of a chronic pain informed care toolkit for all our health and social care staff, the updated NHS Inform pages and engaging with seldom heard voices through our Pain Panel.

“This plan sets out our continued ambition to deliver service improvements and create impactful change to help people living with chronic pain access the safest and most appropriate treatment for them. This is why we have renewed our actions which support our vision to improve their well-being and quality of life. As the Minister for Women’s Health, it is important to recognise that chronic pain is reported more frequently in women and we acknowledge that there is a way to go to ensure, that especially for female-specific pain access to pain management services is equitable across the country.

“Hearing from those with lived experience of chronic pain to inform our work remains one of our priorities and we move into year two of the plan. We have built on the comprehensive engagement from prior to, and during, the first iteration of the Implementation Plan through a further stakeholder engagement window. The responses we have gathered from our stakeholders have directly informed the renewal of our proposals. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in sharing their experience and ideas to help inform this Implementation Plan update.

“Alongside the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, I will continue to engage and invite constructive challenge from all those who will join us on this improvement journey. We are determined to make a difference to the lives of people living with chronic pain, and I look forward to sharing our progress to improve care, services, and quality of life for people with chronic pain in Scotland.”



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