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CMO calls for practice nurses to tackle pain

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Practice nurses could in future have to assess pain and its associated disability under the quality and outcomes framework.

Chief medical officer for England Sir Liam Donaldson last week called for the addition of pain to the QOF to be considered, as one of four recommendations on pain management in his annual report.

Sir Liam also recommended a pain score become part of routine vital signs monitoring in hospital patients, training in chronic pain be included in the curricula of all health professionals, and the setting up of a national network of rapid-access pain clinics be considered.

‘Chronic pain reduces quality of life more than almost any other condition,’ he said. ‘A major initiative to widen access to pain services is badly needed.’

The CMO’s report also called for:

  • Increased training of clinicians using simulators to improve skills;
  • No more antibiotic classes should be made available without prescription;
  • Better testing for prostate cancer to identify slow-growing ‘pussycat’ tumours from aggressive ‘tiger’ ones;
  • A minimum pricing of 50p per unit of alcohol to tackle England’s ‘drink problem’.
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