Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people living with chronic pain receive support from physiotherapists to help them stay in employment.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The routine assessment and management of pain is a required competency of all healthcare professionals. Many patients with chronic pain can be successfully supported and managed through routine primary and secondary care pain management services. Approaches to treatment are not all pharmacological; education in self-management techniques to aid symptom control may also be appropriate for some patients.

As set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019, NHS England will expand the number of physiotherapists working in primary care networks, enabling people to see the right professional first time, without needing a general practitioner referral. NHS England will also expand access to support such as the online version of ESCAPE-pain (Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain through Exercise), a digital version of the well-established, face-to-face group programme.

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