Professor David Wynick gives an update on the work of the Integrated Pain Management Health Integration Team (IPM HIT) in 2016-17.
The work of the IPM HIT is focused on improvements in performance, productivity and efficiency within local and regional chronic pain services.
In January 2017, we started a large project on self-help in the community. We are reviewing and revising chronic pain patient pathways in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) area, to enable patients to be seen and treated much earlier and closer to home. We are working with local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to agree how to structure, deliver and evaluate integrated pain assessment clinics. GPs also need clearer information on which pain services are available and the appropriate referral routes for each part of the pathway.
This is our priority over the next 12-18 months. We aim for the new pathway to be incorporated in commissioner business planning for the 2018-19 financial year. There will be an evaluation before and after introducing the revised pathways to identify any cost benefits.
We will be collaborating with the Bristol Bones and Joints HIT, who are working on an NIHR CLAHRC West supported project on improving the osteoarthritis care pathway. Patient partners will play an active role in the project. We ran a patient and public engagement meeting in July 2016 and we have set up a database of people who are interested in being involved.
The PROactive Research, Innovation and Rehabilitation collaborative was launched in September 2016, bringing together clinical researchers from the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and the University of the West of England. Most members are also members of IPM or the Bristol Bones and Joints HIT.
All PROactive members are involved in research projects or specialisms that focus on health conditions where chronic pain is a common patient experience. Since April 2016, PROactive have had 16 research papers published or accepted by key national and international journals. They have presented more than 30 posters or oral research abstracts at high-profile academic conferences. They have received more than £1 million in research grants.
We have submitted several grant applications to Arthritis Research UK, Diabetes UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). These focus on a range of aspects of chronic pain and many IPM members are co-applicants.
A new clinical rehabilitation service, for people with persistent pain following cancer treatment, will launch in 2017 at Royal United Hospitals Bath. The service has been informed by patient interviews and feedback research by IPM team members, and patient reported outcome data from an earlier pilot funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.
IPM continues to support the Bath Pain Forum, which offers free education opportunities. The forum gives healthcare professionals and academics the chance to hear lectures and research findings from high-profile regional, national and international speakers. Most events are held in Bath, but an annual lecture is hosted in Bristol.
Janine Mendham, pain consultant at North Bristol Trust and member of the IPM executive group has also been visiting GP practices in Bristol to educate and raise awareness of best practice opioid prescribing guidelines for chronic pain.