Chronic pain

Chronic pain has a considerable impact on the quality of life for many people in Scotland. Approximately 800,000 people across Scotland are affected by chronic pain to varying degrees and it can result in significant suffering for both those directly affected and those close to them.

Between 2007 and 2014 Healthcare Improvement Scotland completed a programme of work to review chronic pain services across Scotland and make recommendations for service improvement.

In December 2007 we published the Getting to GRIPS report (Getting Relevant Information on Pain Services). This report was the result of benchmarking chronic pain services in partnership with NHS boards, patients and service providers.

As a result of the GRIPS Report, the Scottish Government accepted the recommendation that chronic pain should be recognised as a long term condition in its own right.  Following this we published an update report on chronic pain services in Scotland in 2012.

In 2013, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing announced the need to accelerate improvement across all levels of chronic pain care. To understand and analyse the current care provision in Scotland, a data collection exercise was undertaken by Healthcare Improvement Scotland between September and November 2013.

Based on the findings of this exercise our final report Chronic Pain Services in Scotland: Where Are We Now?’ makes key recommendations for improvements in chronic pain services across Scotland, to be achieved by 2016.

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