Pain Management Panel consultations: report

An independently produced report of consultations with the Scottish Government Pain Management Panel between August and September 2022. The membership consists of people with lived experience of chronic pain and will help shape the planning and delivery of our Framework for Pain Management Service

Introduction and policy context


This report presents findings from a series of consultations with the Scottish Government Pain Management Panel between August-September 2022.

The consultation work was undertaken by The Lines Between (TLB), who were appointed to recruit and engage with the Panel to inform delivery of the Scottish Government (SG) Framework for Pain Management Service Delivery - Implementation Plan.


Chronic pain is pain that is persistent, lasting beyond normal healing times, or recurring for over three months, and while it can present alongside other conditions, it can also develop on its own. It can affect any age group, can present anywhere in the body and is more likely to develop in people after times of unhappiness or stress. NHS Inform estimate that 20% of people in Scotland are affected by chronic pain, 5% of whom report severe chronic pain that is detrimental to their quality of life, impacting a person’s ability to work, affecting daily activities, and harming mental health.

The Scottish Government’s 2020 Programme for Government included creation of a new Framework to assist those living with chronic pain. In 2021, in consultation with the National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain (NACCP), the draft Framework for Pain Management Service Delivery was developed and following public consultation, the final Framework for Pain Management – Implementation Plan was published in July 2022.

Four overarching aims underpinned by a series of Actions are laid out in the Plan:

  • Aim A - Person centred care;
  • Aim B – Access to care;
  • Aim C – Safe, effective support to live well with chronic pain; and
  • Aim D – Improving services and care.

The efforts to create the Framework and Plan were holistic, spanning:

  • detailed work by policy teams;
  • engagement with a range of stakeholders, including a national consultation exercise; and
  • input from people with lived experiences of chronic pain.

Lived experience has long been incorporated into the design of health initiatives in Scotland. In 2020, Healthcare Improvement Scotland published findings about the use of Experience-Based Co-Design in health services across Scotland, noting that this approach had led to improvements in the experience of care across the three demonstrator sites.

The Scottish Government have advocated for Realistic Medicine which includes the aim for people using healthcare services and their families to feel empowered in shaping their own care through shared decision making and a personalised approach to care. At the service level, the Scottish Government support Healthcare Improvement Scotland Community Engagement which aims to ensure local and national services are designed with the input of the people who use them to better meet their needs.

This report on the findings from engagement with people with lived experience will ensure their voices shape the planning and delivery of the Scottish Government's Framework for Pain Management Service Delivery – Implementation Plan.

Report structure

This report is structured as follows:

  • Chapter 2 explains the methodology used
  • Chapter 3 presents qualitative findings from consultation with the panel
  • Chapter 4 contains an analysis of the consensus work undertaken
  • Chapter 5 presents conclusions on this project.



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