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Empowering people living with pain to explore alternatives


Flippin’ Pain is a public health campaign that engages with individuals and communities affected by persistent pain and empowers them through a better understanding. This is essential to delivering change in the approach to pain management across whole systems.

The Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB) contacted Connect Health, a community services provider and champion of the Flippin’ Pain campaign in other areas of England, about bringing the campaign to the Black Country. To help facilitate the planning across multiple organisations, the ICB asked the NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLCSU) to assist.

Our aim was to target, engage and empower patients struggling with chronic pain who take regular analgesia, and help them understand that there is another way.


  • Facilitating collaboration between key stakeholders from Connect Health, the ICB medicines management and communications teams, venues, musculoskeletal (MSK) teams and pain specialists.
  • Two full-day Brain Bus events to engage with the public and raise awareness.
  • Face-to-face seminar event at YMCA, West Bromwich.
  • Live webinar event with expert panel and Q&A.
  • Promotion via social media, Black Country GP practices and hospital departments, charities and other networks.
  • Patients were engaged via the Brain Bus, face to face seminar, and via the webinar events.
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  • Brain Bus events were very well received and attended at two locations. The general public had time to ask specialists about any aspect of pain and also a chance to try out some interactive games to support and understand how we perceive pain.
  • Several patients agreed to be involved further with the campaign and to share their stories of living with chronic pain with other patients.
  • Face-to-face event had 35 people in attendance. The panel consisted of: Prof. Cormac Ryan, Flippin’ Pain’s Community Pain Champion and Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation at Teesside University; Dr. Deepak Ravindran, pain physician who developed an award winning community service for people living with persistent pain; specialist pain physiotherapists and patients experienced in living with chronic pain.
  • Live webinar had 161 people registered including healthcare professionals. A recording is available and has been viewed many times. The panel included an expert patient who shared her story.

Feedback after all the events has been hugely positive, with many patients feeling a sense of optimism and also keen to explore with their doctors the option of reducing medication.

See campaign resources above and more on the website:

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Firstly, I would like to thank MLCSU for the level of support and cooperation that has been critical to ensuring the completion of the objectives for this project.
“There were multiple engagement events as outcomes for the ICB. There was an underlying stakeholder engagement need, and meetings were undertaken to ensure any early barriers to the objectives were identified and solutions were created. Despite setbacks out of our control we were able to work collaboratively to achieve our aims."

Sumaira Tabassum Head of Medicines Management - Walsall Place | Black Country ICB
I know the painkillers do not really work but I take them anyway – it’s time to take control back”
"You've given me things to think about. I'm decades in”
“Thank you for engaging with people with chronic pain – it’s great to not be invisible!”
“Everything said gave me the boost I needed”
“I found this event very useful. I will think before taking medication whether I need it?”
‘Knowing I’m not on my own now. Great to see more being done than JUST giving medication”

Feedback from patients