Pain self-management programme wins prestigious national award

A self-management rehabilitation programme for osteoarthritis has been awarded the ‘MSK Care Initiative of the Year’ at the Health Service Journal Value Awards 2020.

An ESCAPE-pain event led by physiotherapy staff

The ESCAPE-pain programme has been awarded the prize in recognition of its outstanding contribution to delivering better services and driving better outcomes across its organisation and delivery partners over the past 12 months.

The judges felt it was an excellent initiative which enables self-management for people with hip and knee pain. 

Clear rationale was given for the initiative with supporting evidence and references, which has led to improvement in patient care.

ESCAPE-pain activity led by a physiotherapist

The team demonstrated great overall cost saving benefits to the system in terms of total and social health, and the overall ambition to improve general health, fitness and wellbeing was commendable, read the citation.

Mike Hurley, CSP member, professor of rehabilitation sciences and originator of the ESCAPE-pain programme, said: 'The judges clearly were impressed with the general ethos of the programme about self-management, its effectiveness, and benefits that it brings to  individuals and the healthcare system as a whole.

'We hope the award gives a boost to ESCAPE-pain that we believe can make a major contribution to the post-COVID NHS "reset".'

ESCAPE-pain stands for Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise. The initiative, which has been running for over six years, is an evidence-based and cost effective group rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain.

The programme

  • integrates education, self-management, and coping strategies, with a personalised exercise regimen for each participant.
  • has been shown to reduce pain, improve physical function, improve quality of life and mental wellbeing, reduce healthcare utilisation, and is more cost-effective than usual care. The flexibility of 

ESCAPE-pain means it can be delivered in a variety of locations and by a range of professionals. 

The programmes have been successfully delivered in outpatient physiotherapy departments, leisure centres and local community settings by healthcare and exercise professionals.

The ESCAPE-pain programme

Developed by Professor Mike Hurley,  ESCAPE-pain is hosted by the Health Innovation Network and supported by NHS England. 

The programme is backed by Sport England and associated with Versus Arthritis. Prior to Covid-19, the programme was running in 295 sites and has helped more than 19,300 participants since inception. 

Information on the research, evidence and endorsements for the programme 


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