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Pain Relief

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what management and assessment services and facilities are available to those suffering from persistent pain. [128080]

It remains the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs) to commission services for people with pain, taking account of the resources they have available and the needs of their wider populations. The Clinical Standards Advisory Group (CSAG) report on pain services, published in April 2000, highlighted variations in access to pain services throughout the country. It made recommendations to national hospital service acute trusts and commissioners on how pain services should be delivered in order to reduce variations to access.It recommended that PCT commissioners should review local provision of pain services, looking particularly at the provision of more specialised treatments on a networked basis. In this review, account should be taken of the needs of both adults and children, and include patients with acute pain resulting from sudden illness or accident, as well as post-operative pain and chronic pain. Trusts should also agree with commissioners the services and resources which are appropriate to meet local needs.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/.