BUPA funding policy for injections – FPM update

BUPA update on funding policy for injections into joints for osteoarthritis and spinal injections for back pain published April 2012: Statement by the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists

The Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists is the professional body responsible for the training, assessment, practice and continuing professional development of specialist medical practitioners in the management of pain in the UK. It supports a multi-disciplinary approach to pain management informed by evidence-based practice and research.

BUPA have updated its funding policy for injections into joints for osteoarthritis and spinal injections for pain. It is not the remit of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists to comment on remuneration for procedures performed in private practice. However, within this document, there is a statement that such procedures can be carried out by 'Anaesthetists (only where the treatment has been agreed by a clinician from another approved speciality).'

The Faculty is concerned about this statement as it could imply no regard for the training, assessments, continuing education activities and revalidation programme undertaken by the Faculty of Pain Medicine, Royal College of Anaesthetists and that Fellows of the Faculty of Pain Medicine are not able to properly assess and manage patients in chronic pain.

The Faculty and others have had constructive dialogue with BUPA who have now stated that it will 'recognise Fellows of the Faculty of Pain Medicine to carry out spinal injections.' This is an interim measure until 30 June 2012, during which time the Faculty and other professional bodies (British Pain Society, Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland) will meet with BUPA to clarify the situation.

04 May 2012