A Way With Pain funding enabled Occupational Therapist, Michelle Morgan of Leicester Hospital Pain Management Programme to attend a course on Vocational Rehabilitation

‘Away with Pain’ funds training to enhance service

I’m Michelle Morgan and I’m an Occupational Therapist.  I work as part of the Pain Management Programme team at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL). 

The aims of a Pain Management Programme (PMP) are:

  • to enable people living with persistent  pain to effectively self manage their condition,
  • to reduce the emotional distress and physical disability associated with pain,
  • to improve quality of life despite the pain.

The UHL PMP runs for 8 weeks and participants attend for one day a week in a group.  The group setting is highly beneficial as everyone shares ideas, problem solves together, and supports each other to move forwards.  Our PMP is based on a cognitive behavioural approach and is run by a Clinical Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and Technical Instructor.

People who attend our PMP have often stopped or are struggling to do the day to day things they want or need to do because of their pain and the associated fatigue.  This can result in significant distress, reduction in physical fitness, discontinuation of social activities, reduced confidence and a loss of direction.  All of which contribute to an increase in pain and a sense of pain controlling the individuals life.  As an Occupational Therapist, my focus on the PMP is to try to break this negative cycle by helping people to re-engage fully in daily life, including work, social and leisure activities, self care, and to maintain their roles and responsibilities.

I am very grateful to the charity ‘Away with Pain’ which recently provided funding to enable me to attend a training course on Vocational Rehabilitation.  The training has meant I can provide a more effective service for people who come through our PMP who require more individualised input around getting back into work or staying in work.  This may be around how to apply pain management strategies to cope better at work, or around considering what reasonable adjustments may be feasible at work.

‘Work’ doesn’t necessarily have to mean paid employment.  It could mean going to college or doing voluntary work.  There is a lot of evidence showing that being in some form of work provides numerous benefits, including improved mental and physical health, a sense of purpose, self development, increased confidence and reduction in social isolation to name but a few.  For people living with persistent pain, positive outcomes in these areas can have a great knock on effect on their sense of quality of life and ability to effectively manage their pain.

A referral to the UHL PMP can be sought from a UHL consultant based in Pain, Rheumatology, or Orthopaedics.

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