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Pain Management

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on pain management.[118997]

Pain management is an important component of most patients' care. Patients may suffer from different types of pain, such as chronic pain caused by long term conditions such as arthritis, palliative care pain caused by terminal conditions such as cancer and acute pain, which is an intense short-lived pain including post-operative pain.The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been reviewing pain management techniques as part of the supportive and palliative care guidance. This provides a clearer idea of what therapies are effective and areas where further work is needed. Part A of the guidance is available in draft on the NICE website at http://www.nice.org.uk/.The Clinical Standards Advisory Group (CSAG) report on pain services shows that many national health service trusts have developed excellent services, but we are aware that there are variations in access to services throughout the country. The CSAG report made recommendations to NHS acute trusts and commissioners on how pain services should be delivered. The Dr. Foster and Pain Society published its report "Adult Chronic Pain Management Services in the UK" on 11 June 2003, and should provide helpful information to the NHS on the delivery of the service.