Chronic Pain HIT achievements 2021-22

  • 1st April 2022

Having formed a new Executive committee in the previous year, and despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, we were pleased to be able to make significant progress as a HIT in 2021/22.

We continued to contribute to the development of integrated community-based pain services for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), and pilot work this year will look at the impact of providing pain information sessions in primary care. We have also supported BNSSG’s Clinical Commissioning Group Medicines Optimisation Team in developing a self-help document for people taking opioids.

Our HIT was delighted to make further progress on population health improvements and patient experience, in particular through the work we have led on improving conversations between people with chronic pain and their clinicians. Working with the Dorothy House Brand Communications team, colleagues have been writing scripts and filming video clips from healthcare professionals working in specialist Chronic Pain services, and Palliative and End of Life care. These will be peer-reviewed before they become the first resources in a video library for dissemination by our HIT and via the Bristol Health Partners website.

We were particularly pleased to host the first in a series of webinars to showcase the range of clinical research and chronic pain-related initiatives across our region. The webinar was very well attended, and our excellent speakers covered topics from academic animal and human pain research, to spinal cord device clinical trials, and putting research into practice. This first webinar provides an excellent springboard for future similar events.

A highlight of the year was the success of a four-year £3.8 million UKRI/Versus Arthritis funding bid led by Professor Edmund Keogh from the University of Bath, within which the Chronic Pain HIT co-ordinated input from patients and the public. This programme is part of the Advanced Pain Discovery Platform and includes 17 Co-Investigators across eight universities. The programme focuses on adults with chronic pain but also includes work with young people and their families. Close links remain between the programme’s patient and public involvement (PPI) activities and the Chronic Pain HIT PPI group.

Throughout the year we have been actively seeking and engaging with opportunities to explore health inequalities with minority groups and hard to reach populations, with a focus on chronic pain. Members of our Executive Team have set up an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working group to collect data and progress this work further in the coming year.