National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain minutes: November 2020

Introduction to new Chair of the NACCP and review discussion, held on 9 November 2020.

Attendees and apologies


  • John Harden (JH), Scottish Government, Chair of NACCP
  • Blair Smith (BS), NHS Tayside
  • Rachel Atherton (RA), SNRPMP
  • Sonia Cottom (SC), Pain Association Scotland
  • Angela Donaldson-Bruce (ADB), Versus Arthritis
  • Paul Cameron (PC), NHS Fife
  • Kieran Dinwoodie (KD), MPPP
  • Patricia Roche (PR), Pain Concern
  • Lesley Colvin (LC), University of Dundee
  • Emma Mair (EM), MPPP
  • Aline Williams (AW), NHS GGC
  • James O’Malley (JOM), Scottish Government
  • Sharon Robertson (SR), Scottish Government
  • Carolyn Chalmers (CC), Scottish Government - MPPP

Items and actions

Introduction from the new Chair

The Chair (JH) introduced himself and his clinical background as a consultant in emergency medicine. He also highlighted his vision and priorities for the NACCP going forward, including an increased level of activity, delivering the Government’s commitments on chronic pain in the Programme for Government and ensuring a tangible improvement in support for people with chronic pain in Scotland.

Setting out expectations of new NACCP

It was highlighted that  there is an expectation that the pace of work ahead of the Committee will increase in the year ahead owing to the importance of ensuring pain services are restored and improved following the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees were invited to highlight any capacity issues with being on this group as some large pieces of work need to be achieved over the next year.

Proposed work-plan for the NACCP for year ahead

The Committee members discussed the draft work-plan (Annex 1) compiled by officials to support the delivery of the aims of the Programme for Government.

Discussion highlighted the importance of the proposed ‘Workforce’ work-stream and ensuring a sustainable solution is identified to ensure services are appropriately resourced.

The role of a public health approach to supporting people with chronic pain was also discussed, with a view that this could increase awareness, support earlier intervention and improve engagement and understanding of evidence-based interventions for pain management.

The Committee also discussed the importance of ensuring ‘self management’ was a viable part of chronic pain care pathways which would require better communication and local delivery of this type of support.


  • officials to develop a Role Profile for members of the NACCP
  • officials to provide more detail under each work-stream and share with Committee and Patient Reference Group for discussion and feedback

Ways of working

Third-sector representatives highlighted the opportunity for greater collaboration to wider access and support available for people with chronic pain, irrespective of background diagnoses, in their local community.

Members also agreed that it was essential that local decision-makers are involved and made aware of the work of the Committee in order to ensure implementation of any recommendations or suggestions for improvement activity.

The group discussed the importance of identifying collaborators and other groups with aims relevant to those of the Committee in order to maximise impact and resources available to improve support for people with chronic pain.

The group agreed an ‘Action Plan’ would support members and other stakeholders to engage and support the group to deliver at pace.

The Committee also discussed the importance of ensuring that progress could be evidenced and demonstrated to lead to real improvements for people with chronic pain in Scotland.

The secretariat highlighted that Scottish Government were still awaiting feedback from the Patient Reference Group on representation of people with lived experience on the Committee.


  • officials to develop a draft Action Plan aligned to the work-streams for Committee and Patient Reference Group discussion and feedback
  • officials to develop new Terms of Reference for the NACCP member
  • Secretariat to identify dates in the New Year for the reconvened Committee to meet
Back to top