A national pain service model or pathway of care should be developed to stop chronic pain ruining people’s lives, while the feasibility of a national network of pain clinics should be looked at, chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson has said in his annual report.

In the report, Sir Liam Donaldson also calls for a pain score to be part of the vital signs routinely recorded for hospital patients, for training in chronic pain to be included in all health professionals’ education, and for local pain networks to be developed to improve services.

The report says chronic pain seems to be becoming more common, but only two thirds recover from it as early intervention to stop the pain becoming chronic is not offered often enough.

CMO’s report

Download the CMO’s annual report On the State of Public Health 2008

Download the chapter on pain