Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Chronic Pain & Fatigue Management Service
Contact: Holly Parker, Assistant Psychologist
Considerable patient waiting lists for treatment and administrative time for clinicians.
Delivering an effective, accessible alternative to face-to-face group Pain Management Programmes.
Provide a high-quality service within budgetary constraints.
NHS-approved digital Pain Management Programme, easily integrated with the existing Pain Service.
Accessible and on demand web-app, compatible with all devices, including smartphones.
Clinicians can monitor patients' progress and clearly measure effectiveness.
Significantly reduced clinician administrative time and patient treatment waiting times.
24% reduction of daily problems, 20% reduction in anxiety and depression for patients.
Improved accessibility, flexibility and choice, especially helpful for patients with commitments or mobility issues.
"Patients work through the steps at their own pace - being able to check in when they can, fit it around work and their kids. Accessing it when they want, especially working from home at the moment - that's something that people have found helpful."
"Engaging in the Pathway through Pain programme has absolutely been a positive change in the way that we work. Activating someone on the programme is really quick, and it's quite easy which is definitely helping with wait times."
In 2012, Buckinghamshire Chronic Pain and Fatigue Management Service was one of the first NHS services to provide Pathway through Pain to its patients and offer both face-to-face and digital Pain Management Programmes (PMPs).
Patients referred to the service are offered a choice of joining a 10-week in-person group pain management course, guided self-help, or Pathway through Pain. The clinical team quickly found the digital PMP significantly reduced their administrative time and waiting lists, while also providing patients with self-empowerment and control over their treatment plan.
Recognising the benefits of effective digital interventions to meet the growing demand on Pain Management Services, the Trust conducted a research study evaluating Pathway through Pain for clinical effectiveness and cost savings in a real-world clinical setting. The study, published in the British Journal of Pain (2019), concluded a web-based PMP can be clinically effective, cost-saving and a useful addition to the treatments offered by Pain Services.
Pathway through Pain continues to be an integral part of the Trust’s Pain Management Service and is particularly convenient for patients with work or care commitments or mobility issues that make it difficult to attend face-to-face sessions.
Having adopted the digital PMP in earlier years, the Pain Management Service required only small changes in response to the restrictions due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, with Pathway through Pain already providing a way for chronic pain patients to quickly, easily and flexibly access an effective PMP.