The Patient Voice Committee (TPVC)

Mission and Aims of The Patient Voice Committee (TPVC) Of The British Pain Society (BPS)

“To make a difference to the lives of people living with pain and those of their carers by making the views of patients, based on experience, influential in the design and delivery of the care and support they receive, by working with and for The British Pain Society (BPS)”. 

The Patient Voice Committee  was created to act in an advisory capacity to the Council of the BPS, ensuring that the views of patients are represented within the Society and in external discussions about pain. The following are key areas for the Committee:

  • To encourage patients to be better informed and involved in decisions about their care.
  • To improve patient information within the Society.
  • To bring patients and professionals closer together.
  • To advise on areas of service improvement and patient liaison and education.
  • To work with external bodies to further the work of The BPS.
  • To raise the profile of pain within the public and professional communities

TPVC consists of lay members and healthcare professionals. The Chair is appointed by the President and is a co-opted member of Council.

Committee Members

Victoria Abbott-Fleming MBE


In November 2003, I had an accident at work and was eventually diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Due to a variety of reasons, I became a bilateral above knee amputee as a result of CRPS.

I founded a CRPS charity, Burning Nights CRPS Support which focuses on working to improve life for anyone affected by CRPS including raising awareness of the condition and supporting patients and their families. 

In June 2020 I was awarded an MBE for services to charity, as well as the Points of Light awarded by the Office of the Prime Minister in February 2020. Burning Nights CRPS Support also received Best Team Performance by WeGo Health in November 2019.

I joined The British Pain Society as the Patient Lead for the National Awareness Campaign in January 2020. I became Chair of The Patient Voice Committee in July 2020.

Tim Atkinson
Vice Chair

For over twenty years I held a variety of middle and senior management positions in a number of schools. I’m now a full-time author and have written on a range of subjects for a number of newspapers, journals and blogs as well as appearing on national radio and TV. I've recently been providing expert input in the creation of pain management resources and programmes and am the author of a memoir (Where Does it Hurt?) about life with chronic pain. 
Jim Blake
Lay Member
Since retiring from the Army he has been greatly involved with the NHS and particularly so over the last 10 years following his Wife’s Stroke.  His involvement includes serving as a Governor of his local NHS Trust, working with Veterans’ Health and Hospital Charities, with the Ambulance Service and with their local GP and CCG.  He has relevant experience in Corporate Communications and Stakeholder Management as well as personal involvement with chronic pain and pain management and pain relief generally.

Michael Pierson
Lay Member


I am from New Zealand, where in 1998, a cricket injury left me with disc damage, resulting in long term pain. Over the last twenty plus years, I have learnt to adapt my lifestyle through pain management, an area I am passionate about.

I have lived in the UK since 2006. During that time, I have become highly active in pain management voluntary work. I am a patient volunteer with the North Bristol Pain Clinic, I have conducted many Pain Management Programmes alongside medical professionals, and I am an actively involved in furthering the use of the ‘lived experience’ across other pain clinics throughout the country.   


  • I have written an article published in Pain Matters on the challenges, wins and benefits of running Pain Management Programmes over zoom. This was part of the North Bristol Pain Clinic guest editorship of the magazine. 
  • Member of the Bristol Chronic Pain HIT, as well as working with Jenny Steele (from Dorothy House, Bath) in the production of a video on ‘Living with Chronic Pain.’
  • Member of the planning committee for the 2019 PMP SIG Conference held in Bristol in September 2019.
  • Co-presented a workshop on use of the patient perspective being used in an SMP or PMP pain management courses at the conferences. 
  • A member of the closing Q&A panel at the pain conference.
  • Involved with Dr Michelle Farr and NIHR CLAHRC West in a study to test the effectiveness and outcomes of patient follow-on groups with different NHS organisations.

Ryan Prout
Lay Member


I am a Reader in Spanish philology and visual cultures at Cardiff University. My research includes a focus on disability and on pain and I have published work on these subjects in film, comics and literature from Spain, Latin America, and the UK

I became involved with the Patient Voice Committee through experience of prolonged pain connected with a skin condition. Underscoring the pain that can be associated with dermatological ailments is something I try to bring to the committee’s work. 
With support from the ESRC and the Welsh Government’s Innovation for All scheme I am leading a project, All is not Well, on care giving. 

Nick Richardson
Lay Member


Originally from the North East, Nick Richardson served for over 20 years as a Logistics Officer in the
Royal Navy.  Unfortunately, Nick has both chronic neuropathic pain as well as degenerative osteoarthritis, both as a result of two separate injuries that he sustained in service.  As a result of these injuries, Nick was medically discharged from the armed forces in 2012 - Coming to terms with this has been extremely challenging, and Nick fully understands the stress that living with chronic pain places on all elements of life.   
However, after excellent treatment from the NHS, along with the excellent supports that he received from a number of leading military charities (Help for Heroes and BLESMA), he has been able to come to terms with his injuries.  
Nick lives in Wiltshire and is married, with two grown up children.  He enjoys watching both Bath and England play rugby, and has a keen interest in military and industrial history.   

Martin Hey
Professional Member

I have been qualified over thirty years and worked full time in the NHS across this period plus worked in the private sector and third sector. I  am a Consultant Physiotherapist in Pain Management in an Acute Trust in West Yorkshire and an elected member of Council at The British Pain Society

I am a past Chair of the Physiotherapy Pain Association. 
My personal interests within pain management are Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and the maximisation of the skills of Physiotherapists to serve the local needs of the population with pain related problems. I have worked as a volunteer Physiotherapist with the Medical Foundation for Survivors of Torture in Manchester. I hold a Non-Medical Prescribing qualification.
I currently act as a Veterans Health Champion within my work organisation

Sam Ahmedzai
Professional Member



TPVC on Social Media

The Patient Voice Committee can also be contacted via Twitter @PatientBps