Update on the work of the Chronic Pain (formerly known as the Integrated Pain Management) Health Integration Team in 2019-2020 from Professor Candy McCabe, Dr Ali Llewellyn, and Lindsay Davies, April 2020.
The past year has seen a review of the strategic direction of the Chronic Pain Health Integration Team (HIT). Set up in 2014 as the Integrated Pain Management HIT, our work until 2019 focused on the revision and redesign of the chronic pain patient pathway, as part of the wider redesign of musculoskeletal services by Healthier Together, the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).
With this work successfully completed, we paused HIT activities temporarily until the directorship of the HIT passed from Professor David Wynick to Professor Candy McCabe in October 2019. We felt it was appropriate to use this opportunity to re-engage with relevant communities across BNSSG, and to extend into the Bath area, to begin work to develop a new strategy for 2020-2023.
To ensure this process of strategy development was informed from the ‘grass roots’, and thereby reflective of the needs of the community and stakeholders, we hosted a half-day strategy event in January 2020. 46 people, representing health and social care services, academia and commissioning across the Bristol and Bath region attended this event, including 15 people with a wide range of chronic pain conditions, or their carers. In addition to voting to change the HIT name to the “Chronic Pain HIT”, the outcomes of this meeting directly informed the new Chronic Pain HIT strategy document.
Chronic Pain HIT members continued to publish widely in peer-reviewed journals throughout the year. Several members also successfully secured grant funding, including personal awards, as well as project funding from the NIHR and the Jean Golding Institute. Despite the temporary pause in HIT activity in the year, two projects were completed by ARC West: an examination of the facilitators and barriers to primary care diagnosis and support for fibromyalgia; and an investigation of follow-on peer support groups for people with chronic pain after they have attended a pain management programme. Whenever possible, Chronic Pain HIT members have also continued to showcase their work, including speaking at conferences and public events. Ongoing membership of the HIT was 79 people, as of the end of March 2020.
Supporting Professor McCabe in managing HIT activities, Dr Ali Llewellyn and Lindsay Davies were appointed in November 2019 to part-time roles as Project Manager and HIT Administrator, respectively. As part of our refresh, we have established a new Executive Team to take our HIT forward.