RJAH supporting national project on mental health and pain

Release Date: 15/05/2019

 RJAH supporting national project on mental health and pain

The connection between persistent back and neck pain and mental health has long been known.

Now The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital has been invited to take part in an exciting national project to develop and test new approaches to the issue.

The project is being led by The Q Lab – which is part of the Health Foundation, with support from NHS Improvement.

The Q Lab is working in partnership with Mind, the mental health charity, to explore how care can be designed to best meet the health and wellbeing needs of people living with both mental health problems and persistent back and neck pain.

Five organisations, including RJAH, have been selected as Testing Teams which will develop and test improvement ideas, and share learning. The four other partners are:

  • Powys Teaching Health Board
  • Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Keele University
  • Health Innovation Network

Kerry Robinson, Director of Improvement, Performance and Organisational Development at RJAH, said: “We know, because our patients tell us, that persistent back and neck pain can have a strong negative impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“Chronic pain is associated with decreased quality of life often linked to an increase in depression, sleep disturbances, stress, fatigue and medication abuse.

“Individuals with existing mental disorder, beyond depression and anxiety, are at higher risk of developing subsequent back or neck pain.

“We have a proven track record of working in a collaborative manner to benefit our population, and are excited to be working with partners to make up a Testing Team with the Q Lab.”

The project got under way with a workshop, where the members of the Testing Team got together to share initial ideas and establish a common approach.

Further sessions are also planned over the next six months in order for the initial ideas to be tested and modified as required.

It is hoped that the full testing cycle will lead to a body of evidence that can be used to shape recommendations that can be rolled out to other organisations.

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