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PE01460: Improvement of services and resources to tackle chronic pain


Petitioner: Susan Archibald on behalf of Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Chronic Pain


Date Lodged: 10 December 2012

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to (a) hold a debate on the matter with a vote or voting rights (b) transfer more of the management for chronic pain into primary care (c) provide more social model care instead of medical model  (d) change its policy to provide direct funding to ensure radical improvements to the service can be made including establishing a residential unit in Scotland to prevent Scottish pain patients being sent to Bath in Somerset for treatment

Petition History:


8 January 2013: The Committee took evidence from Susan Archibald and Dorothy-Grace Elder. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, Pain Association Scotland, the British Medical Association, Action on Pain, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Dr Martin Johnson (Royal College of General Practitioners), the Health and Social Care Alliance and the Welsh Government. Link to Official Report 8 January 2013 (474KB pdf)

16 April 2013: The Committee agreed to invite the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing and Healthcare Improvement Scotland to give evidence at a future meeting and to write seeking further information in advance of the evidence session. Link to Official Report 16 April 2013 (472KB pdf)

25 June 2013: The Committee took evidence from Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health, Scottish Government, Robbie Pearson, Director of Scrutiny and Assurance, Lesley Holdsworth, Programme Lead, and Dr Steve Gilbert, National Clinical Lead for Chronic Pain, Healthcare Improvement Scotland. The Committee agreed to defer further consideration of the petition until November and seek an update from the Scottish Government on its short term commitments, such as the delivery of the intensive pain management service, for then. The Committee also agreed to seek an update from Healthcare Improvement Scotland on its reporting mechanisms. Link to Official Report 25 June 2013 (499KB pdf)

10 December 2013: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of the petition pending the outcome of the Scottish Government consultation on the provision of specialist residential chronic pain services in Scotland. Link to Official Report 10 December 2013 (425KB pdf)

3 June 2014: The Committee agreed to keep the petition open pending the Scottish Government's final announcement on the establishment of a new specialised residential chronic pain management service. Link to Official Report 3 June 2014 (484KB pdf)

30 September 2014: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that the location and details of the new national service for chronic pain have now been confirmed. Link to Official Report 30 September 2014 (509KB pdf)

Written Submissions:

The current treatment for chronic pain in Scotland is a bit like post code lottery. “Most of the few pain specialists in Scotland work part time between anesthetics and pain.”

In Greater Glasgow and Clyde they have 16 consultants as 8.5 full time equivalents. Where as, in Fife, they only have 3 Consultants, other places like Orkney have none or Western Isles have one. So many people living with chronic pain state that the medication they are using has little or no effect on their condition, leaving them suffering, frustrated and at their wits end with a vicious circle of more prescriptions but no support.

The people of Scotland deserve better improved, services open to all no matter where they live, that will give them the opportunity to try new treatments, learn to cope with their pain and finally the ability to move on with their lives.

To STOP patients being sent on 8 + hour journeys for treatment in England when there could be a facility in Scotland that they can be sent to; there has been no consideration of the how stress and the inhuman treatment of the trip have on the patient’s overall mental and physical health.

Please support this petition


My Wife is a Chronic Pain sufferer more must be done to help these people who have constant pain

Michael Grieve

14:07 on 10 Dec 2012

I am a chronic pain sufferer who has had the fortune to have met and had a pain consultant in Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow who has made my life better by working with me to manage my pain.

Jackie Anderson

17:45 on 08 Dec 2012

More should be done to help those hundreds of people in the UK suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome...often misdiagnosed there are hundreds of professionals who know nothing about it and therefore don't help those who need support!! So care is a post code lottery! Pain is deemed subjective and therefore the person gets blamed for not being able to cope with it.....I would like to give them pain level 10 for half and hour just to see how they would manage! Education is urgently required!


6:43 on 08 Dec 2012

Pain is a terrible thing to endure, everyone should be entitled to the best pain management available to enable them to cope and try to enjoy their lives. Chronic pain can also lead to mental health which is really not acceptable.

Mrs Mary Carey

6:36 on 07 Dec 2012

even with chronic pain ATOS health say that you are perfectly fit to work and the goverment believes them even with X-Rays and doctors statements. You cannot sign on for jobseekers as the statement requires you to state that you will work for 30 hours per week. so do you have to lie to live?

Andrew Sneddon

10:53 on 06 Dec 2012

We watched my mother die of stomach cancer in a hospice, I cannot imagine the suffering she and others would have had without the excellent care and, particularly pain management, provided in Dunoon, Argyll, where family and friends could also visit easily. To suffer chronic pain and be carted around the UK seems cruel. I am a farmer's daughter. No farmer would inflict this on an animal with impunity. Please make it a priority to provide this service locally to patients. Thank you.

Barbara Robertson

9:43 on 06 Dec 2012

Pain, really is a PAIN.


9:03 on 06 Dec 2012

no one should have to leave their own country to seek treatment and help elswhere

alan roberts

22:54 on 03 Dec 2012

ALL pain patients everywhere deserve prompt and proper treatment. We have the capacity to reduce suffering, if not eliminate it, and we have the moral obligation to do so. The unreasonable failure to treat pain is an unethical breech of human rights. As more than one body has declared (WHO, UN, IASP) - pain management is a unquestionable human right!

Roxanne Stewart

21:09 on 03 Dec 2012

I find it astounding that there is still no involvement of hypnotherapists in chronic pain treatment. I have used hypnosis on clients for pain control, and it has worked better (and is more long-lasting) that heavy duty painkillers such as co-codamol. Why on earth is this not being promoted as a possible form of treatment. It would save the NHS so much money, and give much needed employment to hypnotherapists.

Alyson Dunlop

0:05 on 03 Dec 2012

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