• Project led by Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the Dorset Pain Management Unit.
  • Based in physiotherapy services across Dorset.
  • Aimed to reduce the incidence of chronic back pain, promote patient self-management and reduce the costs associated with managing back pain.
  • Designed a pain management programme for patients with acute back pain, involving multidisciplinary assessments, self-management support and web-based tools.

The Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust team wanted to design a new care pathway for patients experiencing acute back pain. Under the existing care pathway, the median time from the first onset of pain until an appointment at a specialist pain clinic was 12 years. 

The new care pathway was designed to:

  • reduce the incidence of chronic pain by providing multidisciplinary support at a much earlier stage
  • empower patients to make positive health care choices and manage their condition
  • achieve cost savings through reductions in medical consultations, prescription costs, interventions and investigations.

Patients with acute back pain lasting three months were referred to the local physiotherapy service for an individual assessment with a physiotherapist, psychologist and occupational therapist, before starting a pain management programme which included:

  • a detailed bio-psychosocial assessment
  • work retention support
  • a web-based tool for patients to log pain levels and activity scores
  • access to self-management services such as peer support and coaching, backed up by telephone and online support.

Who was involved

The project involved pain specialists and physiotherapy services across Dorset, along with a broad network of partner organisations including Bournemouth University, GP surgeries and voluntary groups. 

Outcomes

Thirty-two patients completed the programme. Clinical outcomes included:

  • reduced reliance on medication
  • improved mental health, self-reliance and confidence
  • return to work through improved use of pacing, relaxation and enhanced physical fitness.

Patient feedback indicated that the programme was rated very highly and that the content was extremely relevant.

Challenges

The team found that weekly attendance at a pain management programme can be difficult for people during the acute phase as they may still be employed and not be able to attend during working hours. 

Further reading

Learning report

Shine: Improving the value of local healthcare services

February 2014
Learning report

Successes and lessons from the first two rounds of the Health Foundation’s Shine programme: annual...

About this programme

Programme

Shine 2011

Programme

This programme ran from 2011 to 2012 and awarded 14 teams with up to £75,000 for projects to find...

You might also like...

Press release

Inaction on workforce planning will hamper the NHS and social care's ability to recover

Press release

Our response to the vote on the Health and Care Bill amendment on workforce planning.

Press release

Staff vacancies highlight urgent need for NHS workforce strategy and amendment to Health and Care Bill

Press release

Health Foundation response to the RCP Consultant Census 2021 and the proposed amendment to the...

Press release

Pressures on the NHS are far from ‘sustainable’

Press release

Health Foundation response to the publication of NHS England's monthly performance statistics...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Our briefing reveals the devastating and lasting impact of COVID-19 on the more than 4 million people asked to shie… https://t.co/UyH6IHIaxE

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more