GPs to lead new chronic pain support service in Suffolk


- Credit: Archant

Patients with chronic pain are set to benefit from the introduction of a new community-based support service in west Suffolk.

The chronic pain management service, which will start in April, is being funded by the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (WSCCG) and delivered by the local Suffolk GP Federation.

Chronic pain is a persistent pain that lasts longer than three months and could arise from an injury or illness, or may have no clear cause. Around 14 million people in the UK live with chronic pain and most recent figures estimate that the condition accounts for 4.6 million GP appointments annually.

Dr Rakesh Raja, a Sudbury GP who is leading the introduction of the new service for WSCCG, said: “Chronic pain can have devastating consequences, leaving a patient unable to function normally. A chronic pain sufferer could be left constantly fatigued by being unable to sleep properly, be unable to play with their child because of limited movement or even be unable to hold down a job.

“This is very much an integrated service, meaning our health and care partners along with voluntary organisations will be working with patients, depending on the type of help and support they need.

“Patients will be involved with every step of the process with the aim that they are empowered to know how they can better self-manage their own condition, reduce the reliance on medication and the number of medical interventions required.”

Patients will be referred to the service by their GP, physiotherapist or hospital.