"Chronic pain – which is defined as pain persisting for more than 3 months – affects one in five adults in Europe."
Pain in Europe Survey 2003
A top Glasgow consultant is highlighting the impact of chronic pain during European Week Against Pain (from Monday 11 October 2004).
Dr Mick Serpell, pain consultant at the city's Gartnavel General Hospital explains: "Quality of life for chronic pain patients can be significantly impaired, with 20% suffering from depression. It's therefore vital that those affected by chronic pain are able to access appropriate treatment and counselling."
To this end, the Glasgow Pain Team help to improve the quality of life of chronic pain sufferers in the West of Scotland. The team consists of thirteen pain specialists, nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists, who are based in hospitals across the city.
"Over the past two years, we have launched General Practitioner Guidelines for the management of pain," says Dr Serpell. "In addition, we have developed integrated specialist teams across the city to provide assessment and management strategies".
Working closely with other services within NHS Greater Glasgow, such as the Back Pain Service, has also meant the Glasgow Pain Team have been able to accelerate the management of back pain patients.
Dr Serpell confirms, "Medical treatments continue to improve but we are constantly working towards improving the service in every way possible."
For further information please contact Andrea Thomson on 0141 201 3299 or e-mail [email protected]
Notes to Editors:
· Nationally, the financial cost of chronic pain is similar to cancer or cardiovascular disease, costing the UK over £5 billion per year in lost productivity and disability payments.
· Low back pain accounts for a quarter of all chronic pain.