New pain management service could help 4,000 people a year in west Suffolk

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds
West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds

Improved access to services and care closer to home could be offered by a new integrated pain management service launching in west Suffolk next year.

Pain management services are currently delivered by West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) and the Suffolk GP Federation, but will soon be delivered in partnership as the West Suffolk Integrated Pain Management Service.

The new partnership, commission by NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (WSCCG), will see staff from both organisations working across primary, secondary and community care.

Dr Andrew Hassan, WSCCG governing body member, said: “Around 4,000 people each year access these pain management services, so it’s important services are effective and deliver a good outcome. Effective care is best achieved by involving patients in the decision-making process, which is why this new service will make sure patients are involved every step of the way.”

The integrated service will offer support to help patients self-manage their condition. It could also improve the choices those patients have in how their condition is treated and see more people treated in the community, for example at their GP practice rather than a hospital.

Dr Marcia Schofield, WSFT clinical lead, said: “The new, combined service will provide a seamless and improved experience of care.”

David Pannell, chief executive of Suffolk GP Federation, said: “Together we will be able to help and teach our patients to manage their condition, taking a non-medicalised approach that lowers reliance on painkillers, reduces GP visits and focuses on early intervention.”

The new pain management service is due to start operating from April.