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Cornwall's Chronic Pain Project team are recognised in NHS 75-year celebrations.

Updated: Jul 13

Wednesday 5th July was the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service. To celebrate such a momentous date, two of our colleagues from the Chronic Pain in Cornwall Project were lucky enough to be invited to Westminster.

1500 NHS staff attended a special service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 75th birthday and our two colleagues were among them - Dr Jim Huddy, for his contribution to the Chronic Pain Project roll out in Cornwall and Sean Jennings, a pain patient with over 30 years of lived experience of chronic pain.

Five years ago Jim Huddy started working with Dr Keith Mitchell, a consultant in pain medicine at The Royal Cornwall Hospital. They wrote advice and guidance for Cornwall’s GPs to inform them of the dangers of opioid medicines. On the back of this work, Cornwall’s high prescribing of medications dropped down to the national-average.

Recently Dr Huddy changed direction. His focus is on raising awareness and increasing the availability of alternatives to medication for the management of long-term pain. In this endeavour, he’s been lucky enough to work with national experts in the field, including award winning GP and rehabilitation specialist, Dr Frances Cole.

Sean Jennings, a former mechanical engineer, was 32 when he had what he thought would be a routine hernia operation. Unfortunately, from that day he has suffered from chronic pain and was prescribed ever increasing opioids, gabapentin and antidepressants over the next 25-years. Since getting involved in the project, Sean has spent the last 5 years medication free, using distraction and mindfulness techniques along with exercise and movement to manage his pain. He is the projects expert patient, sharing his story with clinicians and patients, and advocating for a “SKILLS NOT PILLS” approach to pain management.

Only 10 people were chosen to attend this celebration from Cornwall; the fact that two of our colleagues were among them is an incredible achievement and privilege. In many ways, it recognises the amazing success of Chronic Pain in Cornwall, and most importantly the impact it is having on the everyday lives of people suffering with long-term pain.

We run several Pain Cafes across Cornwall, to find out more about a Pain Café near you, email Libby Huddy at or call her on: 07496 825523.

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