New pain management service in Mansfield and Ashfield 'is transformational'
A new approach to controlling severe pain is helping a Nottinghamshire father lead a fuller life.
Malcolm Webb, aged 39, from near Ravenshead, is encouraging people who live with severe pain to try a combined approach to managing their pain, rather than relying on prescription drugs.
The community pain management service was introduced across Nottingham in 2017 and commenced this month in Mansfield and Ashfield – replacing the pain clinic at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton.
Patients benefit from a new approach to managing pain and increasing mobility which uses a combination of exercise, psychology and personal lifestyle advice to help them achieve more independence and overall wellbeing.
Malcolm suffers with a bone condition called spinal stenosis that causes a narrowing of the spaces within the spine. This can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine, causing pain and weakness.
When he was younger Malcolm was a keen weightlifter but lately found that he was not able to complete even basic tasks without strong pain medication.
However Malcolm, the programme has been “transformational”.
He said: “Just under a year ago I needed crutches every time I set foot out of the door.
“I started using them as a support when I was in pain, but I just got more and more dependent on them over time.
“By the time I heard about the new pain management course I couldn’t walk longer than 10 minutes.
“I tried lots of different kinds of medication and had some bad experiences with side effects.
“One day I passed out in the house. It made me realise I couldn’t rely on drugs.
“However, when I started using the pain management groups I saw real improvements, and lost about four stones in weight through the exercises and diet advice.
“My aim is to gradually get off medication and lose more weight so I can take up weightlifting again and enjoy more activities with my family.”
The NHS Pain Management service in Nottinghamshire is provided by a local community organisation called PICS (Primary Integrated Care Services Limited), which deliver a number of NHS services.
The programme offers 1-1 support, physiotherapy as well as group mobility classes and lifestyle advice.
The community service, which transferred from Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on March 4, offers care and advice at community locations across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
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Clinics are located in accessible local community settings and staffed by multidisciplinary teams including consultants, physiotherapists and pain practitioners who can provide access to a range of chronic pain treatments, tailored to individual needs.
A number of patients who were previously treated for pain management at Kings Mill Hospital are transferring into the new service.
However, those who require acute medical care such as specialist injections will be able to access treatment at the Hospital in the same way.
Patients will remain under the care of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust until they are personally contacted.
Dr Gavin Lunn, Clinical Lead, Mansfield and Ashfield CCG said: “This new service enables patients to receive treatment in a community setting away from hospital, and will hopefully make their lives easier by reducing the distance they have to travel.
“Patients in South Nottinghamshire and Newark already benefit from this community service, which is very caring and highly efficient in helping with complex cases.”
“We recognise this is a change for many people, but we would like to reassure patients that the new provider will offer patients the most effective treatment for their individual needs.
“The most important thing is to get the right treatment for each person. There are lots of clinical and psychological options available. Specialist staff will work with patients referred to the service to look at causes and triggers for their pain in order to help them manage it and hopefully improve their lives.”
Dr Kelvin Lim Clinical Director, PICS, added: "We will ensure that patients referred to PICS are seen in a timely manner and receive the most appropriate treatment and guidance.
"Patients will benefit from a professional, caring administration team and a clinical team that is well recognised for achieving good clinical outcomes.”
The new service has been designed with support from patients with experience of using pain management services as well as a range of local clinicians.
If patients have any questions about the new service then they can contact the CCGs’ Patient Experience Team on 0800 0283693 (option 1).