THE NHS in West Lancashire is considering introducing a new specialist chronic pain service to help local residents living with chronic pain receive additional support.
As no specialist chronic pain service currently exists in West Lancashire, patients are being managed between GPs and hospitals. This new service would offer specialist care and introduce a holistic approach to a patient’s individual needs by examining the full picture, including, for example physical activity, nutrition and psychological needs.
The idea of the new service has received full support by NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) membership of local GP practices.
Dr Vik Mittal, local GP and board member of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said:
“Living with chronic pain is not pleasant for anyone, which is why it’s so important we have the right services in place that are accessible for everyone.
“GPs have been trying to manage these patients in primary care with some referrals to hospital but without the availability of any holistic support. It’s time West Lancashire developed its own specialist pain service where patients can have the holistic care that they need and GPs can have access to much needed advice to manage these patients.
“This won’t just be about medication and immediate solutions but will take a longer-term approach and examine the bigger picture, looking at issues such as physical activity and socio-psychological needs.
“The possibility of developing a new service is an exciting prospect for West Lancashire, which puts patients at the heart of their own care allowing them to take control and manage their own wellbeing”.
Chronic pain is a pain that persists beyond the point at which healing would be expected. I.E. three to six months.
If a new service is successfully introduced, new patients presenting to their GP with chronic pain will be referred into a specialist pain service, which will provide care and support for the patient using an agreed treatment plan, referring them to hospital only if needed.
For existing patients already known by their GP to have chronic pain, the new service will provide an opportunity to be referred into the specialist pain service for further assessment, addressing their own individual needs. The treatment plan may present suggested improvements for the patients’ care.
Local health commissioners have produced a full update on their plans for chronic pain and welcome comments on it by Thursday 9 February 2017.