Everyone suffers from pain now and then. Pain is a normal sensation that tells us that we might have an injury. Persistent pain is very different. Persistent pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks. It can have a devastating impact on people’s physical and mental health. Persistent pain often cannot be cured, but it can be managed effectively.
What are we planning to do?
Following engagement with patients and the public during 2016, we have taken on board feedback and have developed a more joined-up service model to support people with persistent pain problems, taking into account their physical, psychological and social needs.
We plan to work with local doctor surgeries and community physiotherapy services to promote earlier access to support to help people understand and manage their condition, through a self-management pain programme. Supported self-management is NOT about you being left to manage alone. Supported self-management is about providing people with the skills, knowledge and tools to actively manage their pain, with oversight from qualified health care professionals.
We have redesigned and expanded the existing community persistent pain management service, operating in North Durham to include Darlington, to enable more people to be seen in a community setting, thereby improving the waiting time for treatment.
The community persistent pain management service helps people who suffer from persistent pain develop ways of coping and provide specialist help and support provided by a team made up of nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and doctors who specialise in the management of persistent pain.
The team will help people with persistent pain problems to:
- understand the biology of pain and that pain does not always mean harm
- improve physical and social functioning through activity programmes
- reduce anxiety and low mood by teaching other ways of coping
These in return, can lead to a decreased reliance on medications so that they can have more control, feel confident and empowered which ultimately improves their quality of life.
We are seeking the views of services users, their carers and the wider public around the changes to the new model. This will help us make sure that the new services meet the needs of patients and their carers.
Please click here to complete the survey and thank you in advance for your help.