NI GP recognised for 'bright idea' for improving care for patients with chronic pain

Publication date: 05 November 2018

Dr Rose McCullagh, sessional GP from Belfast, has been recognised by the Royal College of General Practitioners for her innovation that better supports people who suffer from chronic pain.

In trying to reduce the use of opioid painkillers, and at the same time support patients with improved understanding of how pain can be managed alternatively, Dr McCullagh and her team developed a new programme within the GP practice.

This work was a collaboration between Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, Practice Based Pharmacist, Bernard Brannigan, GP Dr Linda Kelly and Dr Rose McCullagh. The team devised a new programme to review pain medication and support patients in their practice with specific pain management therapy sessions to help them better understand and live with their pain, and to enhance their quality of life.

The Royal College of General Practitioners recognises excellence and innovation in general practice through its Bright Ideas Annual Awards. The Awards are presented to healthcare professionals who have identified, tried and tested a better way of doing things when treating and caring for patients.

The High Impact award, won by Dr McCullagh and the team, celebrates ideas that have taken a fresh approach to addressing a primary care problem and have demonstrated tremendous value.  
Reflecting on the success of the new support offered to patients with chronic pain, one recipient said: "I am feeling happier…becoming more assertive, looking at life in a much more positive way and tackling those negative, automatic thoughts."

Accepting the award, Dr McCullagh said: "I am honoured that our work has been recognised by the College, but even more pleased that our new approach to supporting pain management in primary care has had such a positive impact on the lives of my patients. We have now spoken to others about delivering a similar service in other practices.

"Waiting lists for many procedures in Northern Ireland are unacceptably long and as GPs, patients continue to return to us for support and advice. It is incredibly frustrating seeing patients and knowing there isn't much more that I can do for them.

Our new pain management initiative was one way for us to think differently and see how practice teams working together are so much more than the sum of their parts. Using our complimentary skills and fresh thinking, we have enabled our patients living with chronic pain to regain their self-belief and better manage their symptoms."

Further Information

Clare Higgins
07341 737 033 

Notes to editor

  1. For more information see the RCGP Bright Ideas Awards page
  2. See the full list of award winners

The Royal College of General Practitioners is the largest membership organisation in the United Kingdom solely for GPs. It aims to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and to act as the 'voice' of GPs on issues concerned with education; training; research; and clinical standards. Founded in 1952, the RCGP has just over 50,000 members who are committed to improving patient care, developing their own skills and promoting general practice as a discipline. RCGP NI represent over 1300 members in Northern Ireland.

The item has been added to your basket.

Continue shopping

Go to basket

This item is out of stock.

Continue shopping

The item is out of stock.

Yes Continue shopping

An error occured adding your item to the basket:

Continue shopping