Who we are
We started Pain Concern in 1995 to inform, empower and support people living with chronic pain, which affects 7.8 million people in the UK, of which at least 1 in 10 report being moderately or severely disabled by their pain. Chronic pain can affect anyone, from children to older people. It is a condition in its own right, but pain is also associated with a variety of different medical issues from diabetes to injury. Research shows that pain affects quality of life more than any other condition, leading often to loss of work, depression and other forms of chronic illness and disability.
About Chronic pain
Chronic pain is a common, complex and distressing problem that has a profound impact on individuals and society. The World Health Organisation now includes chronic pain in its Global Burden of Disease Study and has stated that chronic pain and pain related diseases form the leading cause of disability and disease burden globally. They recognise chronic pain as a condition in its own right needing its own approach to care. UK-wide it is estimated that 7.8 million of us will be affected by chronic pain and between one in six and one in ten of those will have moderate to severe disabling chronic pain. That is the equivalent of 71,500-385,000 people in Scotland living with moderate to severe disabling chronic pain.
Why we need your support now
Andy, Lars and Colin raised almost £1000 for Pain Concern by running the Loch Ness Marathon
People with chronic pain are particularly at risk of adverse impacts from the COVID-19 crisis.
Many of those with pain have other health problems, which may cause additional worry or may mean they are being asked to isolate over a period of 12 weeks. Those with chronic pain are often struggling with the impact on their mental wellbeing already. Ordinary coping and pain management techniques may have become more difficult to use at the current time – for example, following paced exercise routines or accessing face-to-face support from peers, GPs or pain management clinics. Households where someone has chronic pain are also likely to be vulnerable to the financial impact of this crisis - 25% of people with chronic pain sadly lose their jobs following their condition meaning redundancies or furloughing of other household members risks straining these households further.
We are finding that people are under enormous pressure and we are detecting really concerning levels of distress among those contacting us.
We believe that this will continue and extend beyond the period of this initial lockdown, as worsened pain conditions, mental health and financial problems are likely to persist.
Even before the crisis support services were patchy with one pain specialist to every 32,000. NHS pain services are not able to meet previous levels of service, let alone current demand because of the COVID-19 crisis. Pain Concern wants to assist to bridge this gap by providing information and self help support.
Information is empowering for people living with chronic pain
Proper information and support can significantly improve people's quality of life. We aim to help people understand their condition, empower them to live life to the full despite pain, promote an integrated approach to pain management and change negative attitudes to pain.
We deliver a range of information services, but we seek funding specifically for three:
1. We have an extensive bank of information leaflets on pain management written by experts. We would like to print additional copies of these and using our existing NHS network distribute these into doctors’ surgeries. These leaflets are widely used in the NHS in Scotland and throughout the UK
2. A website that acts as a hub of information and provides access to the above-mentioned resources. The website allows users to access information by topic and content type. We have an existing plan to improve our website to aid access to information. We would like funding to do this at least to make it easier for visitors to the website to access, download or order materials. We have identified a consultant web designer to do this.
3. The Navigator Tool was developed by Pain Concern in order to improve communication between Health Care Professionals (HCP) and their chronic pain patients in order to improve self-management in primary care. The tool consists of forms and questionnaires that navigate HCP and patient through what is often a difficult consultation with distressed patients with complicated and multiple needs. We would like to print part of the Navigator Tool and using our existing NHS network distribute these into doctors’ surgeries. The sections that we would distribute now are those that are most intuitive and the simplest to use. Our poster on the Navigator tool won a best poster prize at Scottish Pain and Research Community 2019 Scientific meeting
Pain Concern has a strong reputation for high quality information provision throughout our work. We are a member of the Helplines Partnership and we received the Information Standard certification, having demonstrated that our information is produced according to high standards with strict procedures to ensure it is factually correct and evidence based.
Dr Mick Serpell is a consultant and senior lecturer at the University Department of Anaesthesia, Stobhill, Glasgow, says “The information already on the website would be of great benefit as there is very little alternative available due to the current very restricted patient pathways. I think the Navigator Tool will be especially useful as Pain services will almost certainly be doing a lot of "virtual" clinic consultations initially as we get back into activity, and would assist in achieving maximal outcome”.
Information is power. Help us empower people in pain with the information they need to improve their lives
With your help we can be the difference for people in pain. Please consider a donation no matter how small to help us reach our target of £2000. Please share this project with your friends!