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Physios urged to help revamp Scotland’s chronic pain services

10 July 2013 - 4:20pm

Physiotherapists are being urged to take part in a consultation exercise on plans to overhaul specialist services for people with chronic pain in Scotland.

The consultation paper, released earlier this month by the Scottish Government, sets out four potential models of care, and the deadline for responses is 8 September.

Martin Hey, chair of the Physiotherapy Pain Association (PPA) professional network, said: ‘We welcome the consultation process that has the potential to establish clearly what both users and providers (and potential users and providers) of services really want and may benefit from.

‘I very much hope all PPA members and CSP members will seize the opportunity to make their views heard.’

‘Unfortunately, the rise of long-term musculoskeletal conditions is a predictable one both north and south of the border,’ Mr Hey added.

The paper, A Consultation on the future provision of specialist intensive chronic pain management services for residents of Scotland, acknowledges that a long-standing arrangement of sending patients for treatment at a specialist hospital in England is no longer viable.  

In recent years around 27 patients a year have been sent from Scotland for treatment at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath. But the Scottish Government has now pledged to end this practice.

In a foreword to the consultation paper, Alex Neil, cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing, says one option would be to create a single centre serving the whole of Scotland, with three alternatives offering a more local or regional approach, possibly including a mobile service.

Physiotherapy would be a key component of the service, as would a physiotherapy gym, the paper adds.

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