Pain Management Task Force minutes: February 2024

Minutes from the meeting of the group held on 14 February 2024

Attendees and apologies

  • Lynne Nicol, Deputy Director, Chair, Scottish Government 
  • Stuart Stephen, National Implementation Lead for Pain Management, Scottish Government
  • Nicola Rhind, National Clinical Lead for Pain Management
  • Rory Mackenzie, Associate Clinical Director, NHS Centre for Sustainable Delivery
  • Lyn Watson, Pain Nurse Network Lead
  • Nicci Motiang, Clinical Priorities Unit Head, Scottish Government
  • Moira Nelson, Chronic Pain Team Lead, Scottish Government
  • Gayle McCann, Senior Policy Manager, Scottish Government
  • David Craig, Psychology Network Lead 
  • Lois Lobban, Senior Policy Manager, Rehabilitation policy
  • Helen Moores-Poole AHP Professions Officer, Scottish Government
  • Aline Williams, Service Managers Network Leads
  • Sharon Robertson, Policy Manager, Scottish Government


  • Lynn Ralston
  • Martin Dunbar
  • Lars Williams
  • Tracy Robertson
  • Debs Steven
  • Steven Martin

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and noted the apologies received.

Approval of minutes of previous meeting and matters arising

The minutes were approved and can now be published on the Scottish Government website.

  • Action: add December minutes onto task force webpage – Policy Manager

Implementation progress 

The new reporting templates look to be working well - very clear.

Education toolkit 

Level 1 module has been developed and tested using link workers, healthcare professionals and non-clinical staff. Positive changes in confidence, knowledge and attitude (shown from pre and post training).

Level 2 module is about 80% complete. Videos due to be filmed this month about the background of the project as well as videos with people with lived experience talking about their experiences with good and not so good conversations.

Making good progress and hope to provide feedback on 1 and 2 to the task force at next meeting.

  • Action: National Clinical Lead to feedback at task force’s April Meeting


Task force were asked to note that this is not going ahead for non-medical so we are looking at an accreditation process. Chief Nursing Office Directorate (CNOD) and NHS Education for Scotland are undertaking work on transforming role for AHPS and that the National Clinical Lead will meet with them to discuss.

Specialist interventions

Scottish Health Technologies Group have been asked to do an evidence-based review. Timescales awaited.

Workforce SLWG 

Group will be looking at what chronic pain work is being done in boards and what is required. This group will involve service mangers and clinicians.

The Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) have undertaken a gap analysis of their standards.  Report still not published.  National Clinical Lead will speak to her contact in the FPM to discuss.

Finance challenges include where pain services sit historically in the Boards and challenges accessing or moving funding.

Noted the challenges with recruitment – clinicians, psychologists and others including some rural areas struggling to recruit AHPs.

New dedicated AHP Policy Lead in CNOD also looking at workforce data with Workforce Directorate and it may be helpful for the implementation lead to speak to them.

  • Action: National Clinical Lead to speak to contact re the FPM gap analysis
  • Action: Implementation Lead to contact AHP Policy Lead

PHS – national data

Final meeting held at beginning of week with clinicians and analysts.  New collection form has been devised – sign off and agreement of this and that we collect all first contact and not just clinician led.

Psychologist Service rarely seen as first contact so important to ensure we continue to have access to the figures as losing this access may have impact on finance and workforce. Agreed to confirm where and when psychologist data is being collected and held and that it is clearly identified as pain psychology.

The two reporting templates will run for the next couple of reporting periods to ensure consistency and highlight any issues.
Noted that we need to ensure outcome from initial vetting of referrals are clearly recorded. The Service Managers Network is looking at Active Clinical Referral Triage (ACRT) and collection of triage outcomes. 
Chair asked that contact is made with relevant team in Scottish Government to ask them to review and approve trial of the new form.

  • Action: Implementation Lead to speak to policy area to get approval of the new collection form

 Implementation plan risk register

Updated risk register had been shared with meeting papers.  Task force said that non-medical credentialling should be added.  Any other risk to be notified to the policy team for inclusion.  Risk register will be reviewed at next meeting to also ensure full explanations are given.

Ensure that resourcing and finance is also included as well as Scottish Government budget risk.

  • Action: Senior Policy Manager to update the risk register

Lived experience on task force and chronic pain policy

Expressions of interest to be a member of the task force has a closing date of 16 February. Applications will be reviewed and an onboarding session taking place with a view to the successful candidate joining the next task force in April.

Task force meeting code of conduct

Code of conduct has been drafted based on other examples. Agreed that this would used in all networks and other groups.

  • Action: National Clinical Lead/Implementation Lead to share the paper with Networks and Groups

Finance and commissioning

Chronic pain 2024/25 budget is still be confirmed.  Task force will be told when it is agreed and what the proposed spend will be. The task force was advised of 2 underspends for this year and that what we are not able to reprofile.

  • Action: Team Leader to provide budget details by email


Newsletter was sent out early February to the 92 people on the mailing list.  37.8% open rate as at 13 February).  [post meeting note – average for government newsletters are 28.77% - Mailchimp]

Asked to add evaluation from the education modules to next newsletter. It was also suggested that the task force lived experience rep is invited to provide a short article.

  • Action: Policy Manager to trawl for articles for next newsletter(s)

Any other competent business

none raised.

Date of next meeting

Wednesday 10 April 2024 at 10.30 am via MS Teams.

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