By: 18 June 2012

The Faculty of Pain Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA), have released a statement, outlining concerns about the recent update from BUPA on funding policy for injections into joints for osteoarthritis an spinal injections for back pain.

Despite not usually offering comment on remuneration for procedures performed in private practice, the Faculty has made an exception, because of a statement within this document, saying that such procedures can be carried out by ‘Anaesthetists (only where the treatment has been agreed by a clinician from another approved speciality).’

What concerns the Faculty about this statement is that it could imply no regard for the training, assessments, continuing education activities and revalidation programme undertaken by the Faculty of Pain Medicine and that Fellows of the Faculty are not able to properly assess and manage patients in chronic pain.

There has been a constructive dialogue between the Faculty and BUPA, who have now stated that they will ‘recognise Fellows of the Faculty of Pain Medicine to carry out spinal injections.’ This is an interim measure until 30 June 2012, during which time the Faculty and other professional bodies (British Pain Society, Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland) will meet with BUPA to clarify the situation.

The Faculty of Pain Medicine is the professional body responsible for the training, assessment, practice and continuing professional development of specialist medical practitioners in the management of pain in the UK. It supports a multi-disciplinary approach to pain management informed by evidence-based practice and research.