The VCHA Rehabilitation team were on the road again and on 5 November they visited Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Service at Bath Royal United Hospital.
“They have a four week residential programme that is commissioned nationally. It is pain rehabilitation led by clinical psychologists and delivered with physiotherapists and by occupational therapists,” said Occupational Therapist Sarah Barker.
Physiotherapist Maisy Provan added: “Sarah and I initially sat in on one of their educational sessions that was delivered by one of the specialist pain consultants. We then split and I observed a virtual Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) assessment of a patient hoping to come to the centre, while Sarah stayed with the pain consultant and the group as they did a physical activity session.”
The MDT assessment gave patients time to go through everything from their history, daily routine, medications, the nature of their pain, family situation and relationships, to their beliefs around pain and the effects on other aspects of their lives, their mobility and daily activities.
This approach allows for all members of staff to explore different areas of patients’ movements and functions. Moreover, they have time to understand an individual’s hope and goals for the future, as well as what they thought about the outcome of attending this type of rehabilitation programme.
Maisy added: “It is evident how important it is for this process not be rushed due to the sensitive nature of having, and living with, chronic pain.”
Later in the afternoon, the team had the opportunity to meet clinical psychologist Dr Jeremy Gaunlet-Gilbert, to discuss the programme in more detail and to talk about what could be done for veterans.
Sarah said: “This programme allows people to have a fresh start and to change the way they live. It shows them what they can do even though they have pain. It doesn’t aim to get rid of their pain, but helps them to be able to live with it. It is important for the groups who attend this Service to develop over the four weeks, and to have the opportunity to be vulnerable and to open up. For many, this is often the first time they have ever felt comfortable to doing so.”
The VCHA is committed to improving Armed Forces and Veteran care whilst raising standards for all. 99 NHS providers in England are now Veteran Aware accredited, and the Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA) aims to have all Trusts in England accredited by November 2022 at the latest. Find out more about our work and about Rehab by clicking here.