Pain Management Task Force (Update)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 21 February 2024.

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Photo of Rona Mackay Rona Mackay Scottish National Party

6. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the pain management task force. (S6O-03099)

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

The pain management task force was established in June 2022 to oversee the implementation of the framework for pain management service delivery in Scotland. The task force uses programme and risk management methodologies to ensure successful delivery and prioritisation of the framework’s aims. It meets bi-monthly to discuss progress and issues that relate to the delivery of actions in the implementation plan. The group last met on 14 February 2024. We are currently recruiting additional members with lived experience of chronic pain to join the task force. The membership of the task force and minutes from its meetings are available on the Scottish Government website.

Photo of Rona Mackay Rona Mackay Scottish National Party

Will the minister say when chronic pain patients with lived experience will be notified to become part of the task force? How many patients will be consulted?

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

I recognise the points that Rona Mackay made. The call for volunteers closed on 16 February. It was shared widely with the stakeholder groups and through social media. We received more than 30 applications and the process is under way to appoint a person with lived experience to the pain management task force by the end of March. The new member will be supported through an on-boarding process to prepare for the next task force meeting in April.

As part of the delivery of the plan, we will continue to engage widely with people with lived experience to understand what questions still need to be answered and the best engagement plan to do that.

Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

Chronic pain management services in NHS Highland are suffering a hiatus after the retirement of a well-respected senior consultant who took a strong interest in the matter. Will the minister meet me and, possibly, other Highland MSPs who share broad concerns on the issue to ensure that NHS Highland takes steps to deal with people who suffer from chronic pain, some of whom have tremendous difficulty—some have even attempted suicide—and find it impossible to conduct any normal sort of life?

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

I recognise Fergus Ewing’s concerns. Last year, I met people from my constituency who live with chronic pain and I recognise the importance of such people getting the right support at the right time to help them to live with their condition. I would be happy to meet the member and any others who wish to discuss Highland’s situation.