THE IMPORTANCE OF CARE PLANNING CONVERSATIONS
For information and to watch a video regarding Anticipatory Care Planning, please click on the link below to Healthcare Improvement Scotlands website:
PAIN MANAGEMENT SELF MANAGEMENT RESOURCES
During challenging and uncertain times such as these it can be difficult to keep on track with your self-management strategies, which help you manage your persistent pain condition.
It may be that your pain management appointments, support groups and leisure and community services have been cancelled due to the health and social care service changes as a result of COVID-19. This may be causing additional concern. We understand that stress can exacerbate some long term pain conditions, as can inactivity, changes to diet, self-isolation and issues with accessing health and social care.
We have begun to collate a list of online resources to support a range of strategies which will be helpful for your pain management plan.
Latest guidance about COVID-19 from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, including social distancing and stay at home advice can be found on NHS Inform: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19
PAIN MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Many of the pain management services have their own websites which host a variety of patient videos, leaflets, mindfulness audio, tai chi videos and more.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran https://www.nhsaaa.net/pain-management-service/
NHS Lanarkshire https://www.nhslanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk/services/chronic-pain/
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde https://www.paindata.org/
NHS Lothian https://services.nhslothian.scot/painmanagement/Pages/Pain-Management-Programme-(AAH).aspx
NHS Fife https://www.nhsfife.org/nhs/index.cfm?fuseaction=nhs.servicedisplay&p2sid=9503FC99-5056-8C6F-C04C4C5EFF26B37A&themeid=3B984BF2-65BF-00F7-D42941481355468F
NHS Forth Valley https://nhsforthvalley.com/health-services/az-of-services/self-management/
NHS Tayside https://www.nhstayside.scot.nhs.uk/OurServicesA-Z/PainService/index.htm
There are a range of organisations that support people with pain by providing resources to empower individuals to self management their long term pain condition.
Pain Concern www.painconcern.org.uk
Offers a range of resources, including a telephone and email helpline.
Phone line: 0300 123 0789 (Monday: 2pm-4pm Friday: 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm)
Pain Association https://painassociation.co.uk/
Face to face groups have been cancelled but are being offered online. Additional resources and free downloads are also available.
Versus Arthritis: https://www.versusarthritis.org/
Phone Line: 0800 5200 520 (Monday–Friday, 9am–8pm)
Action on Pain: http://www.action-on-pain.co.uk/ 0345 6031593
Offers support and advice including a telephone and email helpline.
The Pain Toolkit: www.paintoolkit.org
Tame the Beast: www.tamethebeast.org
Live Well with Pain: https://livewellwithpain.co.uk/
British Pain Society: www.britishpainsociety.org/people-with-pain/
ALISS (A local Information System for Scotland): https://www.aliss.org/
There is a wealth of online resources for different types of exercise but remembering that keeping active by walking, doing hobbies and day to day activities are very valuable.
Please keep up to date with the guidance regarding COVID-19, at time of writing individuals were allowed to leave their homes to exercise once a day alone or with members of your household. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Keeping active is important for health and wellbeing and management of persistent pain, but also even more so in times of self isolation for emotional wellbeing.
A gentle, graded approach when starting exercise is encouraged to build up your confidence and mange your pain whilst exercising.
The Physiotherapy Pain Association has created a list of links, including video links to gentle exercise including chair yoga, tai chi, strength and balance.
The NHS website also has a range of instructor led videos including aerobic exercise, strength, yoga and pilates.
NHS Lothian Pain Physiotherapy services have excellent videos for guided exercises.
Managing anxiety and stress is always important in the management of persistent pain but in challenging times it is even more important for your health and wellbeing. Isolation can also cause practical day-to day difficulties which can cause feelings of frustration or lead you to feel lower in mood.
Some tips to support your mental health at this time are:
There are many helplines which support people with emotional wellbeing.
Breathing Space https://breathingspace.scot/ 0800 83 85 87
Helpline is open 24h at week-ends (Friday 6pm - Monday 6am). All calls are confidential.
Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/?nation=scotland 116 113
Free, confidential calls 24/7
SAMH https://www.samh.org.uk/ 0141 530 1000
9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Support in Mind Scotland https://www.supportinmindscotland.org.uk/
Here are further helpful links for emotional well-being support.
APPS AND OTHER RESOURCES
There are also a wide range of APPs which support meditation, mindfulness and movement.
Headspace: guided meditations, animations, articles and videos (free basic pack)
Calm: guided meditation, sleep, breathing and relaxation (free trial period)
Breathe: an emotional wellness and meditation app (free trial period)
Mindfulness North West: free resources to learn about mindfulness
My Cuppa Jo: Making sense of pain through science and stories, bridging the gap between patients and health professionals
Chronic pain in itself does not make people more at risk with COVID-19, but certain conditions or medications potentially will put you in a “high risk” category.
The current advice is that you should not stop medications unless advised by a member of the healthcare team.
There has been some confusion as to whether or not it is safe to take ibruprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). The NHS advice is that there is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make COVID-19 worse.
For further advice on medication discuss with a member of your healthcare team including community pharmacy services.
A helpline has been opened to provide advice to Scots who are at high risk from coronavirus and do not have a support network at home. The Service is aimed at people who are older, disabled, are pregnant, or who received a flu jab for health reasons. It will connect them to local services which can help provide food and medicine as well as emotional support.
The phone number is 0800 111 4000, and it will initially operate between 09:00 and 17:00 - although this could later be extended.
INFORMATION FOR SPECIFIC CONDITIONS
Scottish Government have produced patient information leaflets for Coronavirus (COVID-19) tailored to those who live with specific medical conditions.
This will soon include a leaflet on Chronic Pain.
Other conditions also include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, IBD, chronic kidney and liver disease, dermatological, neurological, respiratory and rheumatic conditions.
These leaflets can be found on the NHS inform and Scottish Government websites: