National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain: terms of reference

This document sets out the revised 2020 - 2021 terms of reference for the National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain.

The role and remit of the NACCP (National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain) is to work collaboratively to:

  • to advise the Scottish Government on chronic pain to inform effective national policy and service improvement, taking into account available data on service provision, outcomes, and harmful variation
  • to guide the improvement of chronic pain management at all levels of health and social care, including the delivery of the Scottish Government’s commitments in the Programme for Government, the recommendations of the Scottish Access Collaborative report on Chronic Pain and the ongoing remobilisation and rebuilding of pain management services during and following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • to raise and maintain the profile of chronic pain with the public, NHS and Local Authority senior leadership, and other relevant Scottish Government stakeholders
  • to oversee pain management content on NHS Inform


Current national health strategies (National Clinical Strategy, Realistic Medicine, Health and Social Care Delivery Plan, Public Health Scotland Strategic Plan) set the wider context of government policy on chronic pain. 

The NACCP is a group comprised of clinical, research, third sector, tertiary care, representatives of people with lived experience of chronic pain and Chief Officer/ Medical Director representation.  

Other individuals and representatives are invited to contribute to the work of the Committee on an ad-hoc basis. The Committee will also establish working links with other relevant groups to deliver its objectives quickly and efficiently.

Policy support is provided by the Clinical Priorities Policy Team, with input from the Modernising Patient Pathways Programme. The Committee will be supported by a quality management approach to delivery, and will be required to discuss and agree a framework to manage progress and monitor progress towards agreed objectives. This will include key performance indicators (KPIs).


NACCP is an integral component in the programme to improve chronic pain care and support across Scotland. Members are invited as representatives of their profession, organisation or network rather than as an individual unless otherwise stated.  A crucial aspect of membership will be the commitment to consult with their professional groups, networks and other stakeholders as appropriate to facilitate effective, open and two-way communication between the chronic pain community (people with lived experience, healthcare professionals, service providers including the third and independent sectors), NACCP and the SG.

NACCP invites members onto the group for a period of two years after which their membership will be reviewed and updated as appropriate. 

Members are expected to attend all meetings which will take place virtually for the foreseeable future. If a substantive member is unable to attend a quarterly meeting, they are requested to nominate a deputy, well versed in NACCP’s purpose, attend and ensure consistency, momentum and effective ongoing communication with the board/group they represent.  Members submitting apologies for meetings, and who are unable to send their deputy, are asked to notify the secretariat in advance.

In between meetings business and actions will also be undertaken by email or other form of communication. 

New members may be invited on to the group as necessary to examine/consider specific issues. Such appointments will be discussed and approved by NACCP and SG.

Members are asked to inform the NACCP secretariat of any changes in circumstances e.g. contact details, employment details etc.

All members must make a full declaration of interests. If a member is uncertain as to whether or not an interest should be declared, s/he must seek guidance from the chair/SG. The NACCP secretariat will maintain a central register of all interests declared.

Chairing and discussion

The Chair of the NACCP will be appointed by the Scottish Government for a period of 3 years after which their position will be reviewed and updated as appropriate.

The NACCP will select a Deputy Chair should the Chair be unable to attend.

Reflecting the diverse composition of the Committee, members should ensure their contributions are accessible to all participants. Similarly members should feel confident in seeking clarification or further information to aid participation in discussions.

The NACCP is an advisory group and should seek to reach consensus based on the shared knowledge, experience and views of the entire membership. There are no voting rights. In the event of a diversity of views, or where an agreed position cannot be reached, this will be recorded in the minutes.

Recommendations, actions agreed and meeting minutes will be shared with the Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing for consideration and to take forward any relevant decisions arising.


On the rare occasions where a matter is discussed in the NACCP in confidence, members are expected to maintain confidentiality until the group approves disclosure.

If an issue arises for discussion and a member is concerned about a matter which could regarded as affecting their impartiality and this matter has not already been declared, they must raise this with the Chair in advance of the meeting if possible. The chair is responsible for taking the decision on how declared interests should be handled.

Members of the NACCP including the Chair are asked to support the involvement and engagement of people with lived experience and their representatives by making themselves available to engage with the Patient Reference Group on Chronic Pain as required e.g. to provide topic expertise, answer questions arising etc.

Members of the Committee are asked to participate in good faith, respect the views and diversity of other members and to engage in constructive and collaborative working. Concerns on behaviour or other issues should be raise in confidence with the Chair and the Secretariat.

Members should refer to the Role Profile for Committee members for further information on behaviours.

Meeting arrangements

Meetings will be held according to the schedule agreed by the NACCP membership in order to ensure timely delivery of the agreed work-plan.

Secretariat support to meetings will be provided by the Scottish Government Clinical Priorities Team, to whom enquiries should be directed.

Secretariat will distribute the draft agenda and papers for discussion at least 14 days in advance of meetings for members to provide feedback.

NACCP aims to clear minutes electronically within one month of the date of its meeting. Meeting minutes are published on the Scottish Government website.

Accountability and Review
The Chair of the NACCP is to be accountable to the Scottish Government, with responsibility for its aims and actions.

These Terms of Reference will be reviewed every 12 months. The next review date will be November 2021.

Clinical Priorities Team
Scottish Government
November 2020

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