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S6W-03808: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 18 October 2021

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that officials from the Clinical Priorities Unit told chronic pain patients that gestures such as tutting or eye rolling at a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Chronic Pain could lead to dismissal as a volunteer patient representative and that such behaviour would be reported to ministers to obtain a decision on their continued membership of the committee.

Answered by: Maree Todd 8 November 2021

We are committed to ensuring that people with chronic pain are involved in decisions about the services they use. We have established a Patient Reference Group for Chronic Pain, convened and run by the Health and Social Care ALLIANCE, to ensure that the views of those with lived experience are included in Government policy development and service improvement work.

Representatives from the Group are members of the National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain and have been equal contributors (alongside third-sector groups, researchers, NHS decision-makers and those on the frontline delivering pain management services) in developing a new Framework for Pain Management in Scotland.

Any claims of bullying and intimidation of patient representatives on the Committee by officials are untrue. All members of the National Advisory Committee are free to make whatever contribution they wish to discussions. However, all committee members must abide by the behaviours set out in the Terms of Reference, including the values of respect and mutual collaboration. The National Advisory Committee last met in May 2021 and since then we have communicated with members by correspondence, including reminding them of the behaviours set out in the Terms of Reference.

We will be reviewing how we can best engage the chronic pain community in order to help inform implementation of the Framework to ensure we improve services, support and outcomes for people with chronic pain.

Ministers are not responsible for individual staffing decisions. However, I am confident that the officials involved in supporting our policy development for chronic pain are suitably trained and equipped to do so as set out in my response to question S6W-02871 on 21 September 2021. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at