A new Health Integration Team (HIT) looking at the management of chronic pain has been given the green light by the Bristol Health Partners Executive Group. The Integrated Pain Management (IPM) HIT is led by David Wynick, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UHBristol). His co-directors include Peter Brook, Consultant, UHBristol and Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD), Gareth Greenslade, Consultant, North Bristol NHS Trust, Jacqui Clinch, Consultant, UHBristol and RNHRD, Hannah Connell, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, RNHRD, Christopher Eccleston, Professor of Pain Research, University of Bath, and Candy McCabe, Professor of Nursing and Pain Sciences, University of the West of England (UWE) and Nurse Consultant, RNHRD.
Each year over 5 million people in the United Kingdom develop chronic pain, but only two?thirds will recover. An estimated 11 per cent of adults and 8 per cent of children report moderate to severe pain that has lasted more than 6?months, representing 7.8m people in the UK.
The IPM HIT aims to provide a fully integrated, multidisciplinary, lifespan clinical service for chronic pain that brings together senior clinicians, researchers and local and national health commissioners with service users across Bristol and Bath. This tertiary nationally-commissioned specialist service will be delivered within a hub and spoke organisational structure, under the umbrella of the SW Clinical Pain Consortium.
The team will focus on improvements in performance, productivity and efficiency by ensuring that its multidisciplinary research programmes and international expertise in the management of chronic pain are integrated into the clinical service.
HIT Director David Wynick said: "Chronic pain can have a devastating effect on the lives of patients, and those who care for them. More than a quarter of people diagnosed with chronic pain lose their jobs within five years of diagnosis. Improving the management of chronic pain is a national priority, and I am delighted that the Integrated Pain Management HIT can take forward this vital area of work for the people of the Bath and Bristol area."