18 Jan 2024
Introducing the Greater Manchester Pain Management Resources Hub
Over the past year, Health Innovation Manchester has been supporting Greater Manchester healthcare professionals to design a hub that gathers helpful tools and resources in one place and after everyone’s hard work it’s finally here!
Greater Manchester (GM) has one of the highest opioid prescribing rates in England, with opioid use (as defined daily dose/1000 GP registrants/day) of 53.1 compared to 13.9 in London and 36.9 nationally. In addition, opioid-related deaths and harms, such as dependency and addiction, have become increasingly prominent in the UK. Optimising opioids has always been one of the priorities in local and national governments’ medication safety and optimisation agendas. As part of the national Medicines Safety Improvement Programme, Health Innovation Manchester held discovery workshops with GM stakeholders to identify where improvements were needed and what could be done to contribute to the programme’s national aim of reducing harm from opioids.
Our stakeholders told us that to successfully support people living with chronic pain, primary care healthcare professionals needed more education, training, tools, and resources. We then set up some multi-disciplinary working groups to refine this aim and understand what the most effective outputs of the programme would be. The working groups agreed on some specific objectives:
 Chen TC, Chen LC, Kerry M, Knaggs RD. Prescription opioids: Regional variation and socioeconomic status – evidence from primary care in England. Int J Drug Policy. 2019;64:87-94
 Gill S, Bailey J, Nafees S, Poole R. A qualitative interview study of GPs’ experiences of prescribing opioid medication for chronic pain. BJGP Open. 2022;6(4):BJGPO.2022.0085
 The Lancet Public Health. Opioid overdose crisis: time for a radical rethink. The Lancet Public Health. 2022;7(3):e195
Health Innovation Manchester then worked with Salford Pain Centre, Manchester Pain Collaborative, and the Integrated Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation Group to design the resources hub, identify appropriate content, and develop some local materials.
The University of Manchester led a review using an experience-based co-design approach with primary care clinicians to evaluate the content, accessibility, and usability of the Resources Hub. This ensured that the value and impact of the Resources Hub were optimised and met the needs of the intended audience. The Hub and the locally developed resources have been endorsed by the Greater Manchester Medicines Management Group (GMMMG).
The Greater Manchester Pain Management Resources Hub brings together a variety of useful resources including guidance to support effective consultations, patient self-management information to share, clinician aids and tools, shared learning and education, how to use data to understand the local population, and information to access related services across the conurbation.
The GM Pain Management Resources Hub launched on 17th January 2024 and is available on the GMMMG, GP Excellence, GM Training Hub, and Health Innovation Manchester websites. Take a look and explore more here: Greater Manchester Pain Management Resources Hub
Here's what some of our clinical colleagues think:
“Health Innovation Manchester have collaborated with healthcare professional across clinical settings, VCSE sector, and people with lived experience from Greater Manchester, to develop a hub of resources that will empower healthcare professionals to navigate the complex journey of supporting individuals living with chronic pain. I envision a thriving hub that enables the sharing of learning and expertise, encourages compassion, and drives adoption of innovation; ensuring that every patient’s pain is met with understanding and skill supported by a comprehensive toolkit.”
Dr Tracey Vell MBE
MBChB, DCH, MRCGP; Chief Officer, Greater Manchester Primary Care Provider Board; Medical Executive Lead for Primary Care, NHS Greater Manchester; Medical Director, Health Innovation Manchester
“As Chief Pharmacist in Greater Manchester, I am thrilled to champion the launch of our ground-breaking Pain Management Resources Hub. This comprehensive hub, meticulously co-designed with healthcare professionals and individuals with lived experiences of pain, is a testament to our commitment to transformative care. Packed with a wealth of materials including consultation scenarios, clinician tools, self-management guidance, education and training, social prescribing, and supporting services information, this hub is an asset to all healthcare professionals, enabling them to provide holistic and compassionate support for those living with chronic pain.”
Chief Pharmacist, NHS Greater Manchester
“Complete or significant reduction in chronic pain is rarely possible but it is what is expected. This disconnect between expectations and the reality is an immense source of frustration for both patients and clinicians.
This resource will help tackle this disconnect by providing guidance on how to change the focus from pain reduction to improved function with self- management strategies, effective use of medications and with de-prescribing strategies where they are unhelpful.”
Dr Mahindra Chincholkor
Clinical Director Manchester and Salford Pain Centre; Associate Editor BJA Education; Council member British Pain Society
“The GM Pain Management Hub will support GM localities on delivering on the National medicine’s optimisation opportunities 2023/24, reducing opioid use in chronic non-cancer pain. It is a one stop resource, for health care professionals and patients, where you can find information that will support you with pain centred reviews and implementing quality improvement projects related to pain prescribing. It provides a vast variety of patient centred resources, that can be used by patients and health care professionals, to support patients living with pain. It is a great starting point if you want to begin working on pain prescribing but are unsure where to start. It will also help those who are already focusing on it and want to expand their portfolio of work around pain prescribing.”
Co-Chair, Greater Manchester Integrated Pharmacy & Medicines Optimisation Group; Senior Medicines Optimisation Adviser – Patient Safety & Governance