Carol Bennett and Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt at the Australian Pain Society's launch of the second edition of the Pain in Residential Aged Care Facilities: Management Strategies
February started the final parliamentary sitting period before the Federal Election with our Patron, Sir Angus Houston, joining me for a number of meetings with politicians. It has also been a time to consolidate important relationships with our members (including a meeting with the Faculty of Pain Medicine Board) and key stakeholders such as the Australian Orthopaedic Association, NPS MedicineWise and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners among others.
A final sitting period also ensures a busy time for stakeholder forums. We attended a number of important events, notably the PSA Breakfast to launch ‘Pharmacists in 2023’, National Rural Health Alliance and Parliamentary Friends of Rural and Remote Health Forum and the launch of the new peak body, Medicinal Cannabis Industry of Australia.
It was wonderful to see the Australian Pain Society formally launch the second edition of the Pain in Residential Aged Care Facilities: Management Strategies. We know that four in five people living in residential aged care have chronic pain, making these guidelines an important resource for the aged care workforce in more effective pain management. A big congratulations to APS President Fiona Hodson and the writing team and all who contributed to the development of this much needed, evidence-based resource that offers effective and implementable strategies for pain management in aged care.
There are some important reviews underway notably the NPS MedicineWise Review and the MBS Pain Management items. I met with Professor Llloyd Sansom and Professor Bruce Robinson to provide Painaustralia’s perspective based on extensive consultation with our members and our submissions to these important pieces of work. In relation to the MBS review, Painaustralia has been tasked with co-ordinating sector feedback and I urge you to review the draft report and send us your comments. The work of the Pain Management Clinical Committee, aptly chaired by Dr Chris Hayes, provides the template for major system responses that will ease access pressures on services so critical to people living with chronic pain conditions.
The Painaustralia Board has just finalised our latest Strategic Plan 2019-2021. The Plan focuses on our role in four key areas: advocacy, evidence-based policy, organisational sustainability and community awareness and information and outlines the vision for success.
As part of our community awareness and information goal, Painaustralia is delighted to be expanding our social media presence by joining LinkedIn. This will also include a weekly blog highlighting an important aspect of our policy work.