“Chronic Pain Services in Scotland: Where are we now?”

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 27 October 2016.

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Photo of Joan McAlpine Joan McAlpine Scottish National Party

2. To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making on implementing the recommendations of the report “Chronic Pain Services in Scotland: Where are we now?”. (S5O-00262)

Photo of Maureen Watt Maureen Watt Scottish National Party

The report, which Healthcare Improvement Scotland published in April 2014, made a number of recommendations to national health service boards and the Scottish Government in order to help to plan and drive improvement in pain services throughout Scotland.

In response to the suggested actions for the Scottish Government, we provided support to the national chronic pain improvement group—formerly the national chronic pain steering group—which was tasked with overseeing work to take forward the relevant recommendations. Having addressed all the recommendations, the group came to its natural end in March 2016.

Additionally, to enable each board to establish the service improvement groups to which the report referred, the Scottish Government made available £1.3 million of pump-prime funding from 2012 for a two-year period. The groups considered the recommendations in the report that were directed towards NHS boards.

Photo of Joan McAlpine Joan McAlpine Scottish National Party

I welcome the fact that the new residential centre for chronic pain is up and running at Allander house on the Gartnavel campus, but it could perhaps be more widely publicised.

I note that the centre does not cater for children, and that the Royal hospital for children in Glasgow does not offer a residential integrated service on a par with that offered at the Bath centre for pain services. I have a 12-year-old constituent suffering from complex regional pain syndrome who, in the view of her doctors, requires a residential course of integrated treatment, which can be provided only in Bath. Can the minister give me reassurances that, where the clinical need is proven, we will continue to send a small number of cases to Bath for treatment?

Photo of Maureen Watt Maureen Watt Scottish National Party

I thank the member for her additional questions. Regarding the publicity of the national chronic pain management programme, it has been up and running at Gartnavel campus since November 2015. Since then, 121 patients have been referred from across Scotland. The chronic pain community knows about it, and patient satisfaction with the programme has been very high.

As regards the individual constituent who unfortunately suffers from severe chronic pain, I obviously cannot get into patient details but, because a very small cohort of children fall into that category, services will still be available at Bath if necessary.