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   Support groups > Various > Action on Pain
Action on Pain

Action on Pain is a national charity established in 1998 by Ian Semmons, our Chairman, as a result of his own frustration that it took so long to get treatment for his pain. That frustration was heightened by the fact that when he eventually discovered Pain Clinics some three years after his injuries the treatment he received was superb. During that journey he met many others in a similar position so knowing that complaining to the NHS was a pointless exercise he was determined to do something positive to help others

Our Mobile Information Unit provides support and advice for people affected by chronic pain.

In 2008 it visited North and South Wales as well as Scotland. In addition it attended several locations in East Anglia. More of the same happened during 2009 with visits to county shows, supermarkets, healthcare locations. This is believed to be the only Mobile Information Unit in the world providing a service for people affected by chronic pain. It has proved to be a very popular initiative enabling Action on Pain to increase its profile by meeting more people affected by chronic pain. In addition PainLine receives several calls each week from people who having seen the unit 'in transit' take our telephone number to call later.

Such is its popularity the unit was stopped by traffic police on the A1 whilst heading North. Our volunteer driver fearing the worst was both relieved and amused to be asked by one of the officers if they could give him some information on treatment for chronic pain. Needless to say we were able to oblige!

In 2010 the Mobile Information Unit was used no less that 64 times during the year covering some 5028 miles. As always we assess the impact of the unit and the feedback we get from our visitors. What we learnt this year has enabled us to upgrade the vehicle to make it more user-friendly, upgrade the resources that it carries, broaden the geographical split of the venues we have attended. It is reassuring that the unit continues to provide an ever-growing service which we look to further develop in 2011.

One interesting development in 2010 was an enquiry from a healthcare professional team providing pain management in Australia who are looking to provide an 'outreach service in the outback'. Having seen the Mobile Information Unit on our website they were looking at the possibility of replicating the unit in Australia. Action on Pain were able to give them some good advice and ideas. Strangely there has been no shortage of volunteers willing to go out to help them set the project up!


Action on Pain has developed a reputation for its strong stance on lobbying/campaigning on behalf of those people affected by chronic pain. The fact that the level of service provision within the NHS for pain in no way matches the need leaving many people totally stranded by their pain. In a modern society like the UK it does seem unfair that people are denied access to services that could help them.

Equally unfair is that pure logic suggests that by helping people at an early stage the future demand on both the healthcare and benefits system would be far less. So where is the evidence we hear the politicians and healthcare commissioners shout. Well just perhaps that evidence is called common sense, which in this target-driven society is now so often neglected.

Therefore Action on Pain can be found lobbying national and local politicians by asking searching questions about the provision of pain services within their constituency. We can be found talking to the media, providing case studies whilst generally raising the profile of pain. We can be found talking to healthcare commissioners about their inability to grasp the reality of what their failure to provide effective pain services means.

We would deeply value your help in helping us to continue to put pain services in a key position when it comes to NHS service provision and funding. We would welcome your help in persuading government to support charities such as Action on Pain to enable them to continue and develop the work we do. Currently the government gives Action on Pain nothing as provision of pain services is not a government target. A national disgrace when you consider that 1 in 7 of the UK population have chronic pain-yes 1in 7!

We would love to hear your stories on your treatment by the NHS for your pain - please contact us!


Over the past thirteen years Action on Pain has grown to a national organisation developing a good reputation for the quality of the support and advice that it provides. Currently run entirely by volunteers AOP is run from a small office in Norfolk from where we reach out to not only the UK but to other parts of the world. AOP is involved in a number of key projects, which have the potential to help people affected by chronic pain wherever they live.

Always looking for new opportunities to help people with pain 2007 saw the introduction of our Mobile Information Unit which now plays a pivotal role in enabling us to reach out to far more people whilst also raising the overall profile of pain. We are told that this unit is the only one of its type across the world that specialises entirely on pain related matters.

Some interesting facts:
Since 1998 AOP has given out nearly 972000 booklets
Answered nearly 43000 calls on PainLine
Covered over 14000 miles with the Mobile Information Unit
Spoken at 119 conferences and similar events
Action on Pain
Action on Pain
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