Chronic pain sufferer from Forres to speak at international conference

A Forres man who set up a charity for chronic pain sufferers like himself will speak at an international conference next month about the management of pain conditions.

Chris Bridgeford, who is chairman of Affa Sair will also be joined by his colleague and charity trustee Joe Parsons, who will also speak at the European Pain Summit

Affa Sair is a Scottish charity based in Moray for chronic pain sufferers anywhere, will be presenting two sessions at a European Pain Summit in November. 

The pair have been invited to the prestigious event by Dr Emma Briggs PhD BSc RN PGCAP Senior Fellow HEA, from King’s College, London.

The European Pain Federation has brought together the European pain science community for more than 25 years to advance the education, research, and clinical management of pain. The Federation represents around 20,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals from 37 countries across Europe.

The 2021 EFIC Virtual Pain Education Summit on November 4-6, will have fully multi- and inter-professional pain education sessions tailored for physicians, physiotherapists, psychologists, and nurses. 

Dr Briggs said: “Chronic pain has a devastating effect on people and their families and healthcare professionals need to understand pain and work in partnership with people to promote effective management. Chris, Joe and the Affa Sair community work tirelessly to support people experiencing chronic pain. Their presentations at the EFIC European Pain Summit generously shares their personal pain experience and advocacy work on behalf of people in pain to educate health care professionals across Europe.” 

In their presentations, Chris and Joe will discuss if the current policy of self-management for chronic pain patients is an empowerment or abandonment of the estimated 1.09 million Scots who cope with a life of intractable pain every hour and day of their lives. 

There will be sessions delivered by different specialists such as pharmacists, dieticians, financial benefit providers, complementary therapists, and chronic pain sufferers themselves, as well as the usual physiotherapists, psychologists, and occupational therapists

In the second presentation they will be interviewed by Dr Emma Briggs on their experiences of living with chronic pain since the 1970s to the present day, how they have learned to work constructively with GPs and health professionals and how they are developing a new Pain Management Programme which they hope will be taken up by the NHS bodies in the UK. 

Chris said: “Our Pain Management Programme differs from existing programmes by adequately preparing attendees not just for management of their pain but for all aspects of their life. It has been designed to deliver the services at reduced costs compared to existing services within the NHS.”

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