It is important for the whole of the multidisciplinary team to have guidelines and standards, and that is the reason for the collaborative Core Standards for Pain Management Services in the UK (CSPMS UK). Representatives of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, the British Pain Society, the Royal College of Nurses, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the College of Occupational Therapists, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Psychological Society and patient representatives have jointly been the authors of this document.
Pain affects all of us on occasion, but thankfully can be controlled or abates over a short period of time. For some, pain is ongoing to the degree of becoming persistent and for many is it significant. An estimated 14 million people in the UK live with chronic pain.
Pain therefore is a frequently presenting complaint across a wide range of health care settings. It presents to primary and community care and specialist (secondary) and specialised (tertiary). For most, their pain is treated, managed or resolved within the primary care and community setting. The pain management of those for whom this does not happen must be scaled up, which means referral to more specialised care. This referral should be timely; persistent pain does not go away but develops and accelerates over time through well recognised neurophysiological processes.
The principle driving these standards is to have an acceptable level of care in pain management which is consistent, both geographically and from initial to escalating levels of care. These standards are multidisciplinary, that is to say they apply to all clinical professions to include nursing, physiotherapy, clinical psychology, occupational therapy and medicine. It is intended however that this work is not only a clinical guideline for those working to deliver pain management but that it is a reference and framework for those planning or negotiating pain services in the wider sense, particularly commissioners.