Background of the Painsense Pathway
PainSense was introduced in May 2015 by the three CCGs in Leeds as part of the new care pathway for chronic pain, covering 144 GP practices and serving a population in excess of 750,000.
Up until 2012, there was no dedicated community service for people who live with chronic pain. This led to patients being referred into a multitude of different services, such as MSK Physiotherapy, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Neurosurgery. These services often over medicalised patient’s care and failed to promote self-management- something key for people living with persistent pain.
The secondary care pain team in Leeds had a long waiting list and were unable to offer the non-interventional support needed due to the vast numbers of people referred in. Additionally, often these people expected interventional treatment, such as injections as well.
GPs tended to prescribe large amounts of analgesic medication, including opioids, which are expensive and not always effective, potentially leading to addiction in some cases.
In 2012, the CCGs commissioned a new community chronic pain service for Leeds to fill the void to assist these patients to self-manage.
In the 2014 review of the pain pathway, the CCGs were keen to include the use of digital tools to assist both clinicians and patients in improving self-management. The change in the pathway was aimed at further reducing referrals to the secondary care pain service, A&E visits, GP appointments and opioid prescriptions.