NHS 'should get tough over pain'

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Whilst this survey was about poor pain management in the elderly it appies to all patients.

    The charity surveyed over 1,000 adults
    People want to see tougher action taken against the NHS when it fails to help patients in pain, a poll suggests.

    A Help the Aged survey of more than 1,000 people found nearly two-thirds thought hospitals should be penalised for poor "pain management".

    The charity said the issue needed to be made a key priority like MRSA and waiting times - instead of being seen as doctors as inevitable in old age.

    It said non-compliance with guidelines should affect ratings and funding.

    And it also called for pain management to become more of a priority across the rest of the NHS, including in GP care.

    Pain is not an inevitable part of growing older

    Paul Cann, of Help the Aged

    NHS trusts are measured against a series of core standards and national targets, several of which focus on hospital infections and waiting times.

    None of these is directly linked to pain management and Help the Aged said this was wrong.

    The only way NHS trusts end up judged on pain is indirectly through general patient surveys.

    But the charity said this meant there was not a strong enough link between poor performance and overall rating.

    Quality of life

    The poll found 62% of people wanted penalties, while over half felt health professionals dismissed pain as part-and-parcel of old age.

    The charity said older people were being left to deal with pain on their own in a range of circumstances from post-surgery to living with conditions such as arthritis.

    Paul Cann, director of policy at Help the Aged, said: "Pain is not an inevitable part of growing older.

    "It must not be tolerated, either by older people themselves or those responsible for their care.

    "Pain is exhausting - it undermines dignity, changes personality and drastically reduces quality of life."

    Source: BBC News

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