Suffolk GP Federation provides a community pain management service for patients who live in West Suffolk.
We help and teach our patients to manage pain, taking a non-medicalised approach that lowers reliance on painkillers, reduces GP visits and focuses on early intervention before chronic pain has time to set in.
Clinical outcomes have been extremely positive and above our targets – with 91% of patients who were referred in 2016/17 reporting a positive outcome in either physical, psychological or social needs, while 84% reported increased control of medication.
Through education and individual care planning, we help patients to:
- Understand their pain to help overcome fears and barriers
- Use well-developed self-management skills
- Return to – or continue at – work
- Confidently manage their condition in the long-term
- Restore optimal physical function
- Be confident in understanding medications and using a lowest, optimal dose
Our pain management team includes a consultant practitioner, senior clinical nurse specialists, senior pain management physiotherapists, clinical psychologist and a pain consultant.
A professional development nurse also holds education sessions to help GPs reassess their use of opioids in line with Opioid Aware recommendations.
Clinics run at Drovers House in Bury St Edmunds and we also hold education sessions in the wider west Suffolk community, as well as working closely with local GPs, Suffolk Wellbeing Service and the pain clinic at West Suffolk Hospital.
Patients can be referred to the service from hospital, their GP or their physiotherapist.
Patients have their first assessment with either the consultant nurse, senior physiotherapist or medical consultant. Self-assessment forms are sent out as part of the initial consultation. Patients are then invited to a ‘next steps’ workshop – held weekly in a community setting and delivered by senior nurses.
Using goal setting and shared decision making, patients are supported to draw up their own personalised care plan for the next six months.
Education and therapies are delivered in small workshops of eight to 16 participants or patients can opt for a face to face appointment if they prefer. Physiotherapy is also personalised to the patient’s individual needs.
Many of the patients seen by the service have psychological problems and need additional support with their pain management journey.
The patient’s chosen care plan is shared with their GP to ensure the pathway feels seamless.
When patients have completed their care plans they attend a review appointment. As well as improvements in physical function there has also been huge psychological benefits with many patients saying they have experienced reductions in anxiety and improvement of mood. Pain scores for some patients have also reduced.
What is the West Suffolk Pain Management Service? Find out more information in our handy leaflet here.
99% of patients would recommend our community pain service to friends or family.
“Clear explanations and good solutions.”
“Was listened to sympathetically and without judgement.”
“Good service and friendly.”
Number of patients seen to date: 339
Number of patients seen to date: 4235