Chronic pain is very much a clinical priority for the Scottish Government and for NHS Scotland.
This report sets out our response to the Analysis of the Consultation Findings on the Future Provision of Specialist Residential Chronic Pain Management Services in Scotland, published on 23 January 2014.
The response to the consultation has exceeded our expectations and I would like to thank everyone - patients, carers, family members, healthcare professionals and organisations, who took the time to reply to the written consultation and to those who joined us at the stakeholder events. You have shared with us not only your comments, views and insights, but also your personal experiences and this is the true value in carrying out any consultation or engagement with our stakeholders.
The consultation has shown overwhelming support for the development of a specialised residential chronic pain management service provided by a Centre of Excellence at a single location.
The responses to the consultation have also provided us with a much clearer understanding of the difficulties that people living with chronic pain experience in their everyday lives. You have shared with us the things that are most important to you - knowledge, understanding, being listened to; the barriers you face in accessing services - getting the right information, knowing what is available and how to access services, travelling and costs.
Many of those who responded have suggested ways in which the new service will help to improve local service provision.
You have shown your support for all of the elements that will be included in the programme that the new service will provide and given us many exciting and innovative suggestions for how the service can be enhanced.
I am pleased to say that work is in progress to take forward the establishment of the new residential service.
The new Scottish National Chronic Pain Management Programme will be a nationally designated service commissioned by National Services Division of NHS National Services Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.
The service specification for this work has been developed taking account of the views expressed in this consultation. It sets out the aims and objectives of the new service and outlines the minimum range of healthcare competencies and skill level required, along with the range of facilities needed to provide the service. Once approved National Services Division will work with the host Board to develop a full detailed business plan.
The New Service for Scotland
The specification advises that a Scottish National Chronic Pain Management Programme will be delivered through a psychological approach with an emphasis on living better with chronic pain.
The Scottish National Chronic Pain Management Programme will be available to all residents of Scotland who are assessed by the local chronic pain management service as likely to benefit from participation in the intensive residential programme of assessment.
Every effort is being made to ensure that the new service will be established as soon as possible and further announcements will be made at key points in the process including when the location of the service is confirmed following the important steps now being taken to ensure the new service is of the highest quality.
Whilst much progress has been made on improving chronic pain services I recognise that more still needs to be done. I look forward to continuing to work with our stakeholders to progress this important work.
Michael Matheson MSP
Minister for Public Health
Email: Gill Gunn