Leva Clinic, a group of expert healthcare professionals within the NHS, will be launching the UK’s first Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered online clinic for those patients living with persistent pain. As part of a three-month trial with a London-based NHS Trust, expected to start in late 2020, the multi-disciplinary team of clinical psychologists, doctors, nurses and physiotherapists will be treating patients through online consultations, relieving waiting list pressures faced from COVID-19. If the model is successful, it will be rolled out to other NHS Trusts and private companies, as commissioned.
The clinic has been designed with the input from people who have experienced on-going persistent pain allowing for a more tailored and specific care plan. Patients will be able to book an appointment with the pain specialist team through the Leva Clinic website www.levaclinic.com. They will then be contacted by a pain specialist nurse who will initially assess their symptoms. Each patient at Leva Clinic will have access to the entire online clinical team of clinical psychologists, nurses, physiotherapists and doctors, who meet regularly to discuss each patient’s personalised care plan.
It is estimated that 28 million adults in the UK currently live with persistent pain, with back pain being the single largest cause of disability in the UK. British Pain Society estimates that chronic pain is more costly to society than cancer and heart disease combined. The cost to society of chronic pain is estimated to be 2-3% of GDP across the EU25, that would equate to approximately £50bn in the UK.
Dr Benjamin Viaris de Lesegno, registered manager of Leva Clinic, says: “We have seen huge pressure on chronic pain services in the NHS due to COVID-19, and it only looks to be getting worse with new lockdown restrictions. 50% of chronic pain sufferers in Europe have to wait at least 2 years before their pain is adequately managed and we are proud to be able to provide a centralised online service for patients on the NHS waiting lists that will decrease that timescale. It signifies huge progress in digital transformation for UK healthcare, as this is the first time a registered chronic pain clinic has been completely online. Online care has been essential for supporting GPs during COVID-19, and our aim is to ensure Leva Clinic can enable patients from all over the UK to have the same tailored experience within pain services.”