ESCAPE-pain rehabilitation comes to Portsmouth

In Portsmouth it is estimated that twenty-two thousand people aged 45 or over have knee or hip osteoarthritis.

To help local residents manage the chronic joint pain and reduced mobility associated with these conditions, BH Live has teamed up with Solent NHS Trust Physiotherapy Outpatient Departments. Together they are rolling out a nationally recognised education and exercise programme at Mountbatten Leisure Centre called ESCAPE-pain.

ESCAPE-pain consists of education, including self-management techniques, and a personalised exercise programme to help the individual manage their symptoms and pain.

After completing the programme, which consists of twelve sessions over six-weeks, evidence has shown that many participants have improved how they manage their symptoms. It has helped them reduce their pain, and improved their physical function. It also reports an increase in confidence and knowledge around being more active and improved motivation to continue exercising.

BH Live, which manages Portsmouth’s leisure centres in partnership with Portsmouth City Council, already delivers the ESCAPE-pain programme in Dorset and has seen great success. 85% of those participants felt their knee or hip pain had improved and 95% felt their physical function was better.

It is hoped that similar outcomes will be achieved in Portsmouth as Rob Cunningham, BH Live’s Divisional General Manager explains. He says,

“It’s great to be tackling what is a growing issue not just in Portsmouth but across the UK. Chronic joint pain has a major impact on a person’s health and wellbeing which can affect many things including relationships, family life or the ability to work.

“Regular exercise and employing pain management techniques can help to alleviate many of those symptoms and improve overall quality of life.”

Professor Mike Hurley, originator of the ESCAPE-pain programme and Clinical Director of MSK at the Health Innovation Network said,

“ESCAPE-pain is now being delivered in every region in the country. We are delighted it is starting to be delivered in Portsmouth. I hope that the many local people currently suffering with knee and hip pain find this innovative approach as helpful in making their lives better as people in many other parts of the country do. We look forward to them sharing their experiences with us.”

In support of the ESCAPE-pain programme Marion Gower MSK Physiotherapy Team Lead for the Solent NHS Trust, adds,

“This programme is beneficial because its ethos is for individuals with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee to actively take up exercise and become empowered to independently manage their condition for the future.”

To take part in the ESCAPE-pain programme in Portsmouth, qualifying participants will need to speak with their healthcare professional for a referral. The course costs £45 per person.

To find out more about the programme, visit

For further information please telephone BH Live’s exercise referral team at Mountbatten Leisure Centre on 02393 200358.


Notes to Editors:

Stats about Portsmouth used in first paragraph:

The six-week (12 sessions) ESCAPE-Pain course at Mountbatten Leisure Centre will cost each participant £45.

Upon receiving a referral from a health professional, places can booked via BH Live’s Exercise Referral team in Portsmouth.

For participants’ stories and assets visit

About BH Live
BH Live is a leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.
Get social with us: LinkedIn, Twitter @BHLIVE_UK and Facebook @SocialEnterpriseBHLive

About the ESCAPE-pain programme
The ESCAPE-pain programme is an intervention for people with knee or hip osteoarthritis developed by Professor Mike Hurley.
The programme is hosted by the Health Innovation Network and supported by NHS England and Versus Arthritis.
ESCAPE-pain is currently running in over 200 sites. Classes are run in a variety of locations from hospital physiotherapy departments to leisure centres and gyms, from church halls to community centres. You can find information about all of the classes running across England here:

Twitter: @escape_pain.

About the Health Innovation Network
The Health Innovation Network is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, one of 15 AHSNs across England.

As the only bodies that connect NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, the third sector and industry, we are catalysts that create the right conditions to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies, with a clear focus on improving outcomes for patients. This means AHSNs are uniquely placed to identify and spread health innovation at pace and scale; driving the adoption and spread of innovative ideas and technologies across large populations.