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St George's in Tooting launch Chronic Pain Awareness Day

St George's in Tooting launch Chronic Pain Awareness Day


Each month, a different member of staff from St George’s in Tooting brings us a blog post about what they do.

This month, we have Dr Anna Mathieson, Clinical Psychologist, and Baljit Daffu, Specialist Physiotherapist; telling us about why they launched the UK’s first ever Chronic Pain Awareness Day on 1 May.

Hi, we’re Anna and Baljit from the Chronic Pain Self-Management Team at St George’s.

Our team is made up of physiotherapists, psychologists and a clinical nurse specialist to support patients and develop strategies for managing their pain and set achievable goals to work towards to improve their quality of life. This might be through helping patients improve their functional ability, reduce distress or increase participation in social activities.

Roughly 43% of adults in the UK live with some degree of chronic pain – which is described as pain that lasts for longer than three months – but many people don’t have a proper understanding of the condition.

Because of this, we wanted to do what we could to raise awareness of chronic pain and as far as we could tell the UK doesn’t have an awareness day dedicated to it – so we thought we’d launch one!

We registered it as a national campaign on the NHS calendar and we’d like to run it each year, and hopefully make it a national event to further educate and raise awareness.

We kicked off the day with a group of staff and patients taking part in a two mile walk from Tooting Bec Common to St George’s to tie in with National Walking Month. It was a really positive walk and it was great to see just how far some of our patients have come in terms of their physical and emotional wellbeing.


The group were welcomed by a tea and cake reception, before some patients shared their experience of living with chronic pain and staff spoke about the importance of self-management.

One of the patients on the walk said: “The support from the St George’s pain management team has been wonderful. I was taking painkillers for a long time, which caused me to have migraines, vomiting and develop other conditions. Through a care management plan, I’ve completely stopped taking painkillers and I’ve learnt techniques to manage my pain – this has had a huge impact on my quality of life, allowing me to get outside more and drive again.”

The day was a great way to educate St George’s staff on the condition too, by showcasing past patients’ progress since their time with the team as well as raising awareness publicly.

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is very common and affects around 43% of adults in the UK, 8 million of whom are living with chronic pain that is classed as moderately to severely disabling. 

Chronic pain is different to what we feel after an injury; which is called ‘acute pain’.

For further information about chronic pain please visit: or email for more information.

If you are experiencing pain, it is important to book an appointment with your GP in the first instance.

Interested in supporting the team? You can donate via their St George’s Hospital Charity JustGiving page here.


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