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Report reveals ‘the painful truth’ for patients living with long-term pain in Northern Ireland

12 February 2014 - 12:00pm

People in Northern Ireland living with long-term pain want better access to regular physiotherapy, according to a report published this week.

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Download the report and evidence for physiotherapy at the foot of the story

The CSP welcomed the publication of The Painful Truth: 2,500 people who live with chronic pain tell their story and the concerns it raises about access to services.

Produced by the Patient Client Council in Northern Ireland, the report outlines the experiences of more than 2,500 people. Most completed questionnaires, but 61 people took part in focus group discussions and five had one-to-one interviews.

The respondents outlined their views on health and social care services and their experiences of receiving a diagnosis, information, treatment and care. They also made suggestions about how support could be improved.

It emerged that they wanted easier access to services and treatments, especially regular, long-term physiotherapy, rather than the short, one-off sessions currently on offer.

Multidisciplinary teams

Tom Sullivan, CSP policy officer for Northern Ireland, said: ‘Physiotherapy is proven to be an effective treatment for chronic pain that enables people to live full and active lives.

'However, variations in the time taken to access physiotherapy and other pain services across Northern Ireland need to be addressed.’

He also backed a call for the development of a strategic framework for pain services in Northern Ireland that should result in a ‘responsive, innovative and multidisciplinary pain service’.

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