Diversity and Inclusion Hub

Pain at Work

Professor Holly Blake, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

Chronic or persistent pain affects around 28 million adults in the UK, and can reduce people’s quality of life and their ability to work or be productive at work. Sickness absence and reduced productivity costs the UK economy around £73 billion per year.

Pain at work

The Pain-at-Work (PAW) Toolkit was developed by Professor Holly Blake and her team, in partnership with people living with chronic or persistent pain, employers, healthcare professionals, and Burning Nights (Registered Charity No. 1166522).

The aim is to equip people who have pain with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to:

  • effectively self-manage a painful condition at work.
  • access help and support.
  • enjoy a better work experience.
  • and remain in the workforce.

You can read more about how the toolkit was developed here.

The Pain-At-Work trial is currently testing the feasibility and acceptability of the Pain-at-Work toolkit for employers and employees. It is funded by the Nuffield Foundation and Versus Arthritis as part of The Oliver Bird Fund. The study protocol can be found here

Visit the Pain-at-Work Project website.

There are five key sections to the toolkit:

  1. What is chronic or persistent pain?
  2. Chronic or persistent pain and disability.
  3. Work capacity, advice and support.
  4. Self-management strategies.
  5. Resources

For more information, contact the project lead, Professor Holly Blake, School of Health Sciences, at holly.blake@nottingham.ac.uk or the project researcher, Wendy Chaplin, at Wendy.Chaplin1@nottingham.ac.uk.

Research team







Diversity and Inclusion Hub

The University of Nottingham
Address line two
Nottingham, postcode

telephone: +44 (0) 115 XXX XXXX
email: research-group-email@nottingham.ac.uk