Alex calls for action to tackle the UK’s inadequate care of chronic pain

Alex Cunningham MP had added his signature and support to the Can You Feel My Pain? Bill of Rights, calling for improved rights for people living with chronic pain in the UK. Prompted by the launch of the UK Pain Proposal Report which revealed that nearly half of the UK’s estimated 7.8 million pain sufferers still don’t have adequate management of their pain, parliamentarians were urged to throw their weight behind a campaign for real change.

The UK Pain Proposal Report documents the serious inefficiencies in the management of chronic pain within the UK healthcare system, and the deeply distressing impact on the home and working lives of all those it affects.

The UK Report is part of a broader pan-European campaign supported by research among people with chronic pain from 15 European countries. Across these countries, the UK tops the list in terms of negative impact of chronic pain on daily life.

Ian Semmons, Chairman of Action on Pain, commented: “Unfortunately many people live their lives with the burden of chronic pain as a constant companion. Such a situation just cannot be ignored by policy makers nor should they under-estimate the enormous impact on those individuals with chronic pain, their families and friends. The potential financial burden on the country from not providing an effective pain service within the NHS runs contrary to the government aim of reducing costs. The need for swift and positive action has never been greater.”

The report calls for a more joined up approach to the management of chronic pain, and states that simply reallocating resources would not only have a huge impact on the cash-strapped NHS and UK economy but also on the lives of millions of people affected by pain in the UK.

Politicians are joining with those personally affected by pain, healthcare professionals and the public to pledge support for improved rights for people with chronic pain, by signing the Can You Feel My Pain? Bill of Rights. This champions the rights of people living with chronic pain, including access to early intervention and optimal pain management.

Alex said:

“I was happy to add my support to this campaign as chronic pain is a problem millions across the UK live with. I hope the campaign will help highlight this issue and ensure the Government takes action to help those suffering from chronic pain.”

The Can You Feel My Pain? campaign can be accessed at and Facebook and the UK Pain Proposal report is available at Arthritis Care.