Scottish AHPs to improve complex regional pain syndrome care

The Scottish AHP Chronic Pain Management Network has set up a group to investigate the knowledge and training of allied health professionals working in the specialist area of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).


The AHP team at the Scottish National Residential Pain Management Programme: Fraser Bell, specialist physio Emma Tocher, OTs Gillian Ward and Jennifer Taggart

The group was one of four developed during the second meeting of the network, which was formed earlier in 2016.

Fraser Bell, a clinical specialist physiotherapist with the Scottish National Residential Pain Management Programme, said: ‘We recognise that CRPS is a condition that is complex and specialised, and access to services in Scotland can be variable.

‘There will be an initial scoping exercise, with the aim of creating a national training package for AHPs, so that perhaps individuals who are seeing patients with CRPS but don’t have a lot of knowledge, or who are working in more isolated areas, have a way of pooling best practice.’

One of the other groups will look at outcome measures for exercises used by AHPs in pain services. Another group will look at fear of pain leading to avoidance of movement, while another will focus on managing the activity of patients.

Mr Bell said the Scottish AHP Chronic Pain Management Network has three main aims. First, to facilitate peer support; second, to share and standardise best practice in pain services in Scotland; and, third, to create research projects relevant across health boards.

The network is co-organised by Mr Bell and specialist occupational therapist Jennifer Taggart. Both clinicians work for the Scottish National Residential Pain Management Programme.

So far, the network has attracted 32 members, 27 of whom are physios and five occupational therapists. Twenty-four people attended the meeting in October and further meetings will be held in April and November next year.

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