Contract Extension March 2013

During March and April we will be collecting another round of data from patients who have already participated in the initial data collection. Patients will be asked to complete a 12 month follow-up PROMs questionnaire and we’ll be analysing the data in June of this year. In addition to the BPI short form and EuroQol EQ-5D we have developed additional questions which seek to better gauge patient satisfaction and the overall experience at specialist NHS pain services. For reference you can download a copy of the 12 month follow up questionnaire. We hope that this additional dataset will provide us with a more detailed picture of the patient journey.

National Pain Audit final report launch 7th December 2012

The National Pain Audit final report was launched at an event at the Science Museum on the 17th of December 2012. You can download a pdf copy of the report here.

Pain Summit 2011 22nd November 2011

The National Pain Audit team attended the Pain Summit 2011 to present the findings from phase 1 of the audit. You can download a pdf copy of the report here.

National Pain Audit ready 21st February 2011

Following a pilot with 11 clinics across all regions the national pain audit is ready to roll out in the first week of March.

How does the system work?

Patient recruitment takes place during a three months period this is only for NEW patients. The follow up questionnaire for the patients is 6 months after their first consultation.

  1. Dr Foster provides each clinic with packs consisting of a PROMS questionnaire (each questionnaire has a unique ID) that includes a patient letter and consent forms. These packs can be sent to patients prior to the initial consultation, e.g. with the confirmation instructions given to clinic staff that they must be completed before the consultation and only be given to new patients. The option of how the packs are distributed to patients will be up to the individual clinics and NHS Trusts. Please note that following the pilot it transpires that there is a higher up-take of patient participation when you hand out the questionnaire in the waiting room before their first consultation.
  2. We have created a patient leaflet for the clinic to hand out that will inform patients about the audit and why we would like them to participate. Download a copy of the leaflet.
  3. When the patient sees the clinician at their initial consultation they hand over the questionnaire that contains the signed consent form if they wish to participate in the audit and these items will be collected by the consultant.
  4. Following the consultation the clinician will enter the appropriate case mix data in to the clinician tool, the date of the consultation and the unique ID number printed on the patients returned PROMS questionnaire. This last step is essential otherwise we will be unable to link the case mix and PROMS returns. Dr Foster is not allowed to use NHS patient numbers.
  5. Each lead clinician will receive log in details for the clinician tool and instructions how to add other users for the tool. The tool will have a demo with clear instructions how to enter the data.
  6. The returned PROMS questionnaire will need to be kept safe at each clinic and will be picked up after the three months recruitment period by Dr Foster.
  7. Follow up PROMS packs will be sent by the clinics to patients who have agreed to participate at exactly 6 months following their initial consultation or patients will complete the follow up questionnaire at the clinic before their final consultation. The PROMS pack will consist of a patient letter, PROMS questionnaire and free post return envelope submitted by Dr Foster.

For further information please e-mail:

Pilot phase kick off 15th September 2010

This month we will kick off the pilot project with 12 pilot sites across England and Wales. The three month pilot will be a shared learning experience and monthly feedback sessions will be facilitated so pilot clinics can exchange information and support each other with advice based on experience using the online data collection tool built for clinicians so case mix can be collected and the operational process for recruiting patients, sending off the filled in questionnaires to be scanned, assessment of resources and time to engage with the audit. Based on the experiences of the pilot we will adapt where possible the process and envisage the national roll out to start beginning of 2011.

For further details regarding the process that will be piloted please visit the methodology

Audit first phase launch 1st December 2009

We are delighted to announce that the first phase of the audit concentrating on the provision and distribution of NHS pain services in England and Wales was launched today. All NHS Trusts and PCT's will be asked to add their specialist pain services to the national data-base and to provide basic details about the staffing, facilities and waiting times for each individual facility.

If you would like to more information about this stage of the project or if you are a clinician and would like to contribute to your Trusts audit return please contact the audit team at Dr Foster Research on

National Pain Audit official launch 12th November 2009

The National Pain Audit official launch took place today at the head quarters of Dr Foster Research in London. Dr Benjamin Ellis, Clinical Advisor to the Chief Medical Officer, spoke about “Why the National Audit is important for England and Wales”. We would sincerely like to thank all those who attended and contributed to the discussions on how we should take the audit forward over the next three years and how we can ensure that we meet the fundamental aims of the project. In addition we would also like to thank those clinicians who volunteered to be part of the initial pilot phase and trial various different methods of data collection.

Audit receives backing of the chief medical officer 31st October 2009

The National Pain audit has received the backing of the chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson in the recent CEO bulletin which goes out on a monthly basis to all Chief Executives of NHS Trusts and PCT's. Sir Liam said "accurate data on current services and provision was necessary and he was encouraging NHS staff to find time to assist with this work. This audit will measure clinical activity, comparing what is being done, by whom, to whom and when, against nationally agreed standards for Pain Management Services in the NHS in England".

You can download a copy of this document from the Department of Health website here.