Glasgow & West Scotland

Chronic pain centre to be based at Gartnavel in Glasgow

Chronic pain Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Chronic pain affects about 800,000 people in Scotland

A national service to help people who suffer chronic pain is to be based in Glasgow.

The Scottish government has announced that a dedicated team will be located at the Gartnavel Hospital site.

They will provide residential courses for patients and carers on how to cope with the effects of chronic pain, and how to manage their condition.

Chronic pain affects about 18% of the population, or 800,000 people in Scotland.

Chronic pain is often attached to other conditions, such as arthritis, cancer, back pain or MS, which means it is often left to those specialist departments rather than having a service dedicated to the pain itself.

Currently patients have to travel almost 400 miles to Bath for the level of specialised care that will be offered at the new national centre for excellence.

Campaigners had been pushing for Scotland to have its own residential centre, along with better day services.

Last year, Health Secretary Alex Neil announced a consultation on the issue and pledged to improve care.

The first patients will be seen by the new service in January 2015 and it is due to run at full capacity during 2016.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "Chronic pain can be distressing and difficult to deal with, but we know that if the condition is managed well, it can make a huge difference.

"That's why this new national service, based at a single location, will have a truly positive impact on people's lives.

"The establishment of this new national service in Scotland is a major milestone for people who suffer from chronic pain. We're determined that patients will have access to the very best services without having to take the long journey to the south of England."

Image copyright NHS GGC
Image caption The centre will be based at the Gartnavel Hospital site

Prof Blair Smith, national clinical lead for chronic pain, said: "I'm looking forward to working with colleagues to get it up and running. The care and treatment that the residential service will provide represents an important part of our ambition to improve the lives of people living with chronic pain.

"This new national service also presents Scotland with an excellent opportunity to build on our experience of developing world recognised research, with the aim being to deliver continuing improvements in the treatment and management of chronic pain.

"This will benefit the many thousands of people in Scotland living with pain daily."

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