One million 'needlessly in pain'

PD*2817484 Either the patients themselves are fatalistic about chronic pain, believing it to be an inevitable part of getting older, or their doctors are failing to diagnose them properly, the pharmacists say.

Professor David Taylor, of the School of Pharmacy at University College London, said the management of pain was an "often neglected" part of healthcare.

Yet he said up to 10 million people suffered from long-term pain, while pain-related disorders cost the country more than £10 billion a year in terms of lost productivity.

He and colleagues are calling for people suffering from chronic pain to consult their GPs.

Dr Martin Johnson, a GP with a specialist interest in pain management, said older patients with arthritis were the biggest single group not being treated.

Too few realised there were drugs or other treatments that could help them, he said.

"So many of them just say, 'It's my age love'," he explained.

However, many GPs did not fully understand that there were different types of pain that required different drugs, he added.

Dr Johnson described access to pain assessment clinics, where patients can learn the source of their discomfort and how to treat it, as "appalling".

He wants GPs to be financially rewarded for specifically managing patients' pain in the future, under the Quality and Outcome Framework (QOF).

The Telegraph

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