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Improving support for people living with chronic pain

16 August 2007

A Cardiff University expert has played a leading role in the development of plans recently issued by the Welsh Assembly Government to improve the everyday lives of thousands of people in Wales living with long-term pain.

Mrs Ann Taylor, School of Medicine, has worked collaboratively with the Welsh Pain Society to advise the Welsh Assembly Government on the development of a strategic plan to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for people living with chronic non-malignant pain in Wales.

Chronic-malignant pain is a persistent pain caused by a wide variety of health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or migraine. A significant number of people in Wales suffer from such conditions. They can affect people of all ages and any social background but are closely linked with social and economic deprivation.

The Service Development and Commissioning Directives for Chronic Non-Malignant Pain were developed through a series of meetings and workshops with the Welsh Pain Society and through patient, public and professional consultation outside the Society led by Mrs Taylor. The plan has now been published as part of a public consultation by the Welsh Assembly Government to support the redesign of care for chronic conditions.

The plan includes suggestions to improve health and well-being through more patient-centred services closer to people's homes. It also sets out the need to develop professional skills within the National Health Service including increasing the number of GPs with special interests in pain to act as regional advisors for primary care staff.

Mrs Taylor, School of Medicine’s Department of Anaesthetics said: "Chronic non-malignant pain resulting from conditions such as back pain or arthritis is one of the most common conditions affecting people in Wales. Wales is leading the UK, in attempting to improve pain management at a strategic level, by helping commissioners to decide upon the most appropriate services."

Health Minister Edwina Hart said: "The Assembly Government is committed to providing better services that are more patient-centred, integrated across health, social care and voluntary sector organisations and delivered closer to people's homes to enable them to live their daily lives more easily.

"This plan will help ease the pain of those living with these chronic and debilitating conditions, helping to enable a return to work where appropriate and supporting wider economic activity across Wales."


MEDIC 18 pain

Notes to Editors:

1. To arrange interviews with patients please ring Mrs Ann Taylor, School of Medicine (029 20743215). The consultation period will close on 31st October 2007. The consultation document can be found at:

2. Cardiff School of Medicine

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine is recognised as a significant contributor to healthcare in Wales, a major provider of professional staff for the National Health Service and an international centre of excellence for research delivering substantial health benefits locally and internationally. The school’s 800 staff include 500 research and academic staff who teach more than 2000 students, including 1,100 postgraduate students. The School of Medicine is based at the Heath Park Campus, a site it shares the University Hospital of Wales, the third largest university hospital in the UK. It has an all-Wales role, contributing greatly to promoting, enhancing and protecting the nation’s health in partnership with the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales. The medical curriculum followed at the School enables students to acquire and apply knowledge, skills, judgement and attitudes appropriate to delivering a high standard of professional care. Around 300 new doctors currently graduate from the School every year and the Welsh Assembly Government has invested substantially in new teaching facilities to increase this number further. The School is an international leader in basic and clinically applied research activities and scored highly in the most recent Government Research Assessment Exercise. School of Medicine researchers annually win tens of millions of pounds in research awards to work with Government, the healthcare industries and the charitable sector on the most pressing issues of human health. The School has also been instrumental in establishing and running many important national research initiatives including the Wales Gene Park, Wales Cancer Bank, the Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair and the Healing Foundation UK Centre for Burns Research.

3. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

Further Information:

Mrs Ann Taylor
Cardiff University,
School of Medicine
Department of Anaesthetics
Tel: 02920743215

Emma Darling
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20874499