Welcome to the Winter 2020 edition of the ESCAPE-pain newsletter
“ESCAPE-pain in Wessex is continuing to grow at a great pace.  We are delighted to have some superb testimonials and stories to share with you in this edition of our newsletter. “
The Spread Effect 
More and more sites are starting to implement ESCAPE-pain across the Wessex geography. Click here to view an interactive map. The latest site information can also be found on the Health Innovation Network's website hereESCAPE-pain is currently running in over 270 sites nationally  in a variety of locations from hospital physiotherapy departments to leisure centres and gyms, from church halls to community centres. 
Active sites flyer
More venues means more classes and more choice. Our aim is to make ESCAPE-pain accessible to all within Wessex. Click here to view the full list of active sites and to access their contact information. 
Pain management programme expands in Portsmouth
Working with partners, including charitable social enterprise and leisure centre operator BH Live, ESCAPE-pain is expanding across Portsmouth thanks to a positive response from local residents who have benefitted from the scheme. The exercise classes, which began at Mountbatten Leisure Centre during the autumn, attracted people mainly with knee osteoarthritis.
A greater sense of wellbeing and improvement in overall quality of life and ability to carry out tasks associated with daily living such as showering and dressing was reported. Participants also cited a better understanding of their condition and how to manage their pain with greater confidence, optimism and strength. Some participants also claimed to be feeling less pain and reliance on medication alongside improved mobility. They are now taking part in regular exercise at the leisure centre, using newly learnt techniques to manage their symptoms on an ongoing basis.
More sessions are launching during 2020 -
read more here.
Amesbury ESCAPE-pain case study
Mrs R is a lady of 61 years with many hobbies including gardening. She has suffered for many years with arthritis in her knees which has progressively restricted her movement-including walking and substantially reduced her ability to kneel, impacting her work in the garden.  The constant pain would often prey on her mind and so indirectly affect her mood and her willingness to move or exercise. Walking was very restricted to short distances.
Mrs R attended the ESCAPE-pain course at Amesbury Sports Centre. Initially she found the stepping elements and sit to stand exercises very painful and difficult. After the initial 6 weeks of the course she could feel substantial reduction in knee pain when she did the stepping routines however she still suffered when she practised the sit to stand exercise. Mrs R continued to attend the supervised circuit class and now 6 months on her knee pain is much reduced.  This is helping her feel better and increase her exercise regime, plus she can now walk much longer distances. She can also kneel a little better which of course is a huge plus for her being a gardener.
Mrs R gave the following feedback after her ESCAPE-pain programme;
“These exercise classes are wonderful for me and have made a big difference to my mobility.”
She was potentially looking at surgery for her knee in the future but thankfully now this will not be necessary.
For more information including how to book on a course contact:
‘I Can’ Escape Pain

Delivered by Dr Sam Meredith, PhD and Liz Murray at Valley Leisure Ltd.’s I Can Therapy Centre, Andover.
November 2019 saw the launch of the I Can Therapy Centre’s first Escape Pain programme. A full cohort of 10 participants started the programme having joined via a self-referral process.
90% of participants completed the programme, each with an attendance rate of 75% or more. Participants thoroughly enjoyed and gained benefit from the programme, especially the Christmas themed session (see pics), with a few of the positive comments being;
“I can cope better with my pain.”  
“I am pain less for longer.”            
“I’m doing more.”
The I Can Therapy Centre team harnessed internal evaluation data to write to and inform all users of the Centre with a presentation of Osteoarthritis about the new programme, the benefits, cost and how to find out more and book a place. This generated a full register for the start of course 1.
Additionally, local networks were utilised to share and inform local people about the new programme including Unity, private MSK Physiotherapists, Age Concern Hampshire, a presentation at Andover and District Older People’s Forum, Andover Library, Love Andover Radio adverts and the Andover Advertiser local paper writing an editorial about the programme featuring a call to action to find out more. The local NHS MSK Physio Team and Primary Care Network were informed however this did not generate any participants.
The team are employing the same principles to generate interest and bookings in ‘I Can’s’ second Escape Pain programme due to start March 2020. For more information visit

ESCAPE-pain at Romsey Rapids
Sports Complex 


Eileen Munday (Exercise Referral Consultant and Personal Trainer) shares her experiences on delivering the ESCAPE-pain programme:

"We are really enjoying teaching the Escape Pain courses here in Test Valley. We have had 32 successful participants come through five courses over our two sites. Whilst there is always that apprehension at the start to break through, in the short time the group are together they soon get to know each other and by the middle of the course participants leave each session feeling so much better for taking part. Many swap telephone numbers, articles and useful information they have found or tried. The most rewarding part is educating people that although they suffer with pain they learn so much about their own body and have many different coping mechanisms. It is important to find their own personal limits and successes.

The support they get from being part of a group is the key, I feel. Yes it is possible to do the exercises by yourself at home but human nature means it is less probable. Being part of a group with that common ground is more uplifting and means you are more likely to stick to it long enough to see a real difference"
Participant Testimonials
"I have more confidence in doing the exercises correctly. It has made me realise what I need to do to help myself and what I can do at home. I have enjoyed the social aspect of being with other people and learning how we can push ourselves within limits, and also I understand the difference between muscle and joint pain." - Female aged 69

"Good atmosphere and I liked the fact that everyone was there with the same goal and understood each others condition. I felt much more comfortable in a small group setting where you could monitor your own progress rather than in the gym environment." - Female aged 64

"I don't feel my pain levels are any different but it has taught me how to differentiate between joint and tissue pain and I will still continue to exercise." - Female aged 76

For more information contact:
Romsey Rapids Sports Complex:

ESCAPE-pain Network
Our second network event on November 20th was a huge success.  It was an opportunity to showcase and share our success stories and to start to think about long term sustainability of the programme.  We will be taking the ideas from this event and using them to shape the future for ESCAPE-pain in the Wessex area.

Local facilitator training
Jo Marks co-delivered a further local facilitator training day in December, training another 9 facilitators to run the ESCAPE-pain programme.  This brings the total number of trained facilitators in our region to 65.  By the end of March 2020 we will have 30 active sites. As more and more new sites come on board we are really starting to see ESCAPE-pain spread across all areas of the Wessex AHSN geography, making the programme accessible to more and more people, giving them the opportunity to improve their mobility, reduce their pain and learn how to effectively manage their condition.
Q Innovations Expo

Register now for an exciting innovation event. This highly interactive event will be a mix of inspiring speakers and an exhibition of ready-to-go QI focused innovations for health and social care. Q is an initiative connecting people who have improvement expertise across the UK. There are over 200 members in Wessex and the community continues to grow.
Click here to learn more about the event/register and here for more information on Q including how to join.

The AHSN's Patient Safety team has a dedicated webpage on Quality Improvement (QI) for health and social care staff using QI approaches as a core part of their work. Click
here to view the page and access the wealth of resources.
Southampton training date
London training dates

If you are interested in becoming an ESCAPE-pain Facilitator, or would like more information regarding the programme, please contact
The Wessex AHSN Healthy Ageing Timeline is a visual representation of projects in place in Wessex. This repository will serve as a resource for individuals and organisations collaborating to improve healthy ageing care in Wessex. Add your project today!

Future ESCAPE-pain updates

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