Mile­stone for chronic pain group

Midweek Visiter - - News -

AVOLUNTEER sup­port group for peo­ple suf­fer­ing with chronic pain in South­port and Formby has cel­e­brated its 10th an­niver­sary.

The vol­un­teer group, Pain Clinic Plus (PC+), op­er­ates from Ains­dale Cen­tre for Health & Well­be­ing and is run by peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­ence chronic pain to sup­port each other. The cel­e­bra­tory event was held for peo­ple who ex­pe­ri­ence pain, and their fam­i­lies, car­ers and friends.

The group runs in con­junc­tion with Lan­cashire Care NHS Foun­da­tion Trust’s Com­mu­nity Pain Service, which is based at Ains­dale Cen­tre for Health & Well­be­ing.

Dr Becky Simm, se­nior clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist at Lan­cashire Care NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, said: “This is an ex­am­ple of a suc­cess­ful ex­pert pa­tient and health service col­lab­o­ra­tion in a com­mu­nity set­ting to sus­tain­ably sup­port those liv­ing with long-term con­di­tions, par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant when NHS re­sources are limited. Our ex­pert pa­tient vol­un­teers in­spire others with pain to live well and are good role mod­els.

“The group is a source of tips and sup­port for peo­ple, as well as an op­por­tu­nity to try out ac­tiv­i­ties, ex­pe­ri­ence suc­cess, and build con­fi­dence de­spite the pain.

“A lead vol­un­teer with our Pain Clinic Plus group is Kevin Howard, who ini­tially worked with clin­i­cians in our NHS service many years ago when he was strug­gling with pain.

“He found he was able to find pur­pose and mean­ing again in his life, de­spite his on­go­ing pain, and now is busy in­spir­ing others through his role.

“The suc­cess of PC+ has in­spired various spin-off groups, such as our well­be­ing choir Good Vi­bra­tions, a chair-based ex­er­cise group, cof­fee morn­ings and we hope, in time, to de­velop fur­ther com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives with our ex­pert pa­tients.”

Kevin, 56, is a service user and vol­un­teer for the sup­port group and has been a mem­ber since it started in 2008.

He said: “We started off with just two or three peo­ple and over the years I’ve watched it de­velop and be­come pop­u­lar.

“It helps pain suf­fer­ers cope with their pain by so­cial­is­ing and be­ing dis­tracted for a lit­tle while with dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties.

“When I first came to the Com­mu­nity Pain Service, I was en­cour­aged to think about what I could do and what was mean­ing­ful to me.

“I built a Dalek around 10 years ago as a way of spend­ing qual­ity time with my son, who was about 10 at the time and an avid Dr Who fan.

“It was also about teach­ing him prac­ti­cal skills, as I was un­able to kick a ball be­cause of the pain I was suf­fer­ing It was a great bond­ing ex­er­cise which really helped de­velop a ‘can do’ at­ti­tude and a pos­i­tive out­look on life with my con­di­tion.”

Service users on the Pain Clinic Plus

Kevin Howard with his Dalek

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