The Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists was established on 2 April 2007 after long years of discussion and careful planning. It has significant responsibility and authority with regard to patients and those working and training in the field of Pain Medicine.
The Faculty functions through its secretariat and the work of its Board and two sub-committees, the Professional Standards Committee and the Training and Assessment Committee. In addition, short term working groups are appointed to look at specific issues such as Assessment, Communication and we have recently set up a Workforce and Quality Assurance group.
Through our guidance and Pain Medicine training we promote the highest standards of practice for patients. We also serve our Fellows, Members and aspiring Fellows. Fellows and Members are from a range of backgrounds, from established consultants to newer consultants, non consultant doctors working in pain medicine and trainees and educators; each has their own needs, aspirations, and demands. It is our duty to address these.
Those in Anaesthesia CCT training programmes have the Pain Medicine components of their training at all levels scrutinized by the Faculty. Specialised Pain Medicine training at Higher and Advanced levels is closely supervised by the Training and Assessment Committee (TAC) and appointed Regional Advisors in Pain Medicine and Local Pain Medicine Educational Supervisors, who are in turn supported by the TAC and the Board. The Fellowship examination of the Faculty has been set up to make explicit the high standards achieved by the trainees and to offer a respected and established currency in Pain Medicine.
We also aspire to satisfy established consultant and non consultant doctors’ educational needs through our very active meeting programme and in this way to facilitate their Continuing Professional Development. Support for revalidation is offered by the RCoA Revalidation Committee which has specialist Pain Medicine input for advice peculiar to Pain Medicine where needed.
The Board has made efficient working partnerships and alliances on behalf of our Fellows and Members, to include very close relationships with the RCoA and the British Pain Society (BPS) and joint working with the Chronic Pain Policy Coalition (CPPC), providing good patient links. We are currently working with the Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Pain Services who are developing specifications and policies for the NHS Commissioning Board.
The Faculty takes part in regular consultations with all major stakeholders in Pain Medicine, including the Department of Health, the General Medical Council and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. We view this as a key opportunity to influence strategy and enhance and protect Pain Medicine as a specialist area in the UK.
We are keen to foster international relations and have opened dialogue with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Essential Pain Management Subcommittee which delivers pain management courses to resource poor countries internationally, with a view to our Faculty being involved in the same.