The Yorke Peninsula has the highest rural and second highest overall rate of prescription of opioids in South Australia. PBS prescriptions per 100,000 population is 101,970 whilst the South Australian average is 67,580 and the Australian average is 58,595.
"This means that there are 50% more prescriptions per capita on the Yorke Peninsula than South Australia and 74% more than Australia"
The Chronic Pain Management Pilot Project ran from July 2017 to June 2019. Taking place on the Yorke Peninsula, we would like to acknowledge the 24 GP’s involved from; Broughton Clinic, Kadina Medical Associates, Moonta Medical Centre and Owen Terrace Medical Practice which resulted in 112 patients being referred into the program.
In addition to the 24 GP’s involved, we would also like to extend an acknowledgment to the nurses and allied health staff from the Yorke Peninsula as well as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Pain Management Unit staff, including; Dr Tim Semple, Michelle Martin and Sandra Kazubiernis who all provided valuable input into the project. Regular Steering Committee meetings were held and attended by:
Dr Tim Semple (QEH)
Dr Peter Slattery (QEH)
Professor Debra Rowett (DATIS)
Suzanne Mann (Country SA PHN)
Jo Rayner (Arthritis SA)
Professor Lorimer Moseley (Uni SA/Pain Revolution)
The project engaged local General Practices and Allied Health Providers to further develop capacity for effective chronic pain management in the primary care setting and expanded outreach services for patients with highly complex chronic pain management needs.
The Program had 3 broad objectives, all of which were met:
- Facilitate workforce education & upskilling
- “The most valuable parts … in terms of education and upskilling were understanding the differences between active and passive strategies, the psychology of pain, and the evidence around opioids” (pg.9)
- Improve efficacy of chronic pain management in primary care
- “Interviews and surveys indicate … changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours of the healthcare providers has led to systematic changes … and a reduction in prescription of opioids” (pg.10)
- Increase outreach & integration of pain clinics
“A great success from the program with PMU staff providing services in the GP rooms on the Yorke Peninsula … GPs viewed the outreach as the most valuable part of the Program. For the patients, increased local access to specialist advice meant reduced pain and stress associated with trips to Adelaide.” (pg.10)
"The overall aim of the Program was to improve delivery of chronic pain management services in primary care & therefore patients' quality of life."
So… where to from here?
There are several recommendations presented in the full evaluation report, which can be accessed here