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NI Pain Support Programme Wins Out at Prestigious Health Awards

2020-11-06

The Health and Social Care Board, working in collaboration with the Healthy Living Centre Alliance and the Public Health Agency, have won two of the most prestigious ‘PrescQIPP’ NHS Health Awards arising from the huge success they’ve had with their Pain Support Programme.

The collaboration secured the ‘Delivering Across Integrated Care Award’ and, on the day of the ceremony, broadcast from Cardiff, they also won the overall Silver Award.

Members of the Pain Steering Group with their PrescQiPP Award

Anne-Marie Groom, HSCB Pharmacy Advisor, who presented on behalf of the partners, said she was ‘simply delighted to have won the Integrated Care Category, but then for us to also take the Silver Award on the day was just the icing on the cake! This fantastic news, especially now when there is so much gloom in our midst in terms of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the effect it is having on mental health in the community.

‘Over 450,000 people in Norther Ireland suffer from chronic pain. I’ve for long believed that we could be doing more to help these people with their quality of life, but it was not until we teamed up with the Healthy Living Centre Alliance, that we discovered we can all achieve far more working in collaboration than we can working in silos. It’s great now to get the recognition that this novel and impactful kind of work really deserves.

‘I am also delighted to report that, despite Covid-19 restrictions, we have managed to convert our entire Pain Support Programme over to electronic delivery with very promising results.’

Tony Doherty, Regional Coordinator of the Healthy Living Centre Alliance, said that he too ‘was over the moon at receiving such an accolade. The Pain Support Programme has evolved since 2018 when the three organisations decided to work together to reduce social isolation and tackle the mental and physical health difficulties which accompany living with chronic pain.

‘While our Pain Steering Group is made up of all three organisations, we also draw on in-put from GPs and from those delivering the programme in Healthy Living Centres across the north. This is true integrated care in action. When I read the comments from beneficiaries as we evaluate the programmes, they convey a deep meaning and a clear realisation that pain medication is only part of what is needed. Awareness and self-help go a long way.’

Dr Christine McMaster of the Public Health Agency said that ‘what has paid off for us all is that we listen to each other, listen to feedback from patients and listen to the views of programme facilitators. These are the essential elements which have made the Pain Support Programme the success that it is. The following quotes from beneficiaries make it so worthwhile!

The Pain Steering Group is made up of the following:

PrescQIPP Awards are NHS awards for Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation

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