Pain management programme expands in Portsmouth

More specialised exercise classes to help people living with knee or hip osteoarthritis, will be available in Portsmouth this year, thanks to a positive response from local residents who have already benefitted from the scheme.

During 2019 charitable social enterprise, BH Live, teamed up with Solent NHS Trust to roll out a nationally recognised education and exercise programme in Portsmouth called ESCAPE-pain.

ESCAPE-pain, which is supported by NHS England and Versus Arthritis, consists of education, including self-management techniques, and a personalised exercise programme to help individuals with knee or hip osteoarthritis to manage their symptoms and pain.

The exercise classes, which launched at Mountbatten Leisure Centre during the autumn, attracted nineteen people, mainly with knee osteoarthritis.

All of those who completed the programme reported a greater sense of wellbeing and an improvement in their overall quality of life and ability to carry out tasks associated with daily living such as showering and dressing.

They also cited a better understanding of their condition and how to manage their pain with greater confidence, optimism and strength. Some participants also claimed to be feeling less pain and reliance on medication alongside improved mobility. They are now taking part in regular exercise at the leisure centre, using the techniques they have learnt to manage their symptoms on an ongoing basis.

“This is excellent feedback and a great example of how being more physically active, can have incredible results – even in such a short time,

says Rob Cunningham, BH Live’s Divisional General Manager.

Together with Solent NHS Trust’s physio team, Health Innovation Network (HIN) London – the central ESCAPE-pain coordinating centre, Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and Portsmouth City Council, we are empowering people to take control of their health conditions by providing valuable education and regular exercise in the community.

“And by rolling out more courses this year we aim to transform even more lives.”

Two new ESCAPE-pain courses will begin at Mountbatten Leisure Centre and Pyramids Centre during January 2020.

To take part qualifying participants should speak with their healthcare professional for a referral. The course costs £45 per person.

For further information about the scheme telephone BH Live’s exercise referral team at Mountbatten Leisure Centre on 02393 200358 or email

More information about ESCAPE-pain can be found at


Notes to Editors:

For participant stories and assets visit

About the ESCAPE-pain programme

ESCAPE-pain is an acronym for ‘Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise‘.

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 260 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 (HIN) is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, one of 15 AHSNs across England. The HIN is the central ESCAPE-pain coordinating organisation. Wessex AHSN is the local supporting AHSN that works across Wessex, including Portsmouth, and links in closely with the HIN.

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.

For more information about BH Live please contact:

Elizabeth Symmons, PR & Corporate Communications Executive
T: (01202) 055562

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.

With more than five million visits a year we are changing lives and are at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy.

For more visit

Get social with us: LinkedIn, Twitter @BHLIVE_UK and Facebook @SocialEnterpriseBHLive

BH Live operates the following venues in partnership with Portsmouth City Council:

  • Mountbatten Leisure Centre – Portsmouth’s flagship leisure and event venue with a national-class 50m swimming pool, 150 station gym, eight-court sports hall, squash, spin and dance studios, a cycle velodrome, athletics track, function suites with bars, a café and soft play facility. It is also home to a Clip ‘N Climb leisure attraction which opened in 2018.

For more visit

Get social with us: Twitter and Facebook @mountbattenlc

  • Pyramids Centre – one of Portsmouth’s leading entertainment and leisure venues overlooking Southsea beach and the Solent. It has fun pools, flumes, a wave machine and a three-level soft play adventure world. There is also a multipurpose gym, 70+ weekly group exercise classes and a spa.

It also hosts regular live music events, conferences, exhibitions.

For more visit and

Get social with us: Twitter @PyramidsCentre @PyramidsLive @bhlivetickets

Facebook @Pyramids.Centre @PyramidsLive @bhlivetickets

  • Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre – state-of-the-art gymnastics hall, physiotherapy room and meeting room.

For more visit

Get social with us: Facebook @PortsmouthGymnasticsCentre

  • Portsmouth Tennis Centre – A 10 court tennis facility in the north of Portsmouth consisting of four indoor courts and six floodlit outdoor courts. A comprehensive tennis coaching programme caters for all ages and abilities and is the area’s hub of accessible tennis. The programme runs sessions for tots, juniors, adults and also includes variations of the sport such as cardio tennis and touch tennis.

For more visit

Get social with us: Twitter @PortsTennis and Facebook @PortsmouthTC

  • Eastney Swimming Pool – 20m swimming pool and a spectator area.

For more visit

Get social with us: Facebook @EastneyPool

  • Wimbledon Park Sports Centre – 20 station gym, five badminton courts, basketball court and sports hall.

For more visit

Get social with us: Facebook @WimbledonParkSportsCentre

  • Charter Community Sports Centre – 20m swimming pool, 20 station gym, sports hall and an outdoor multi-use games area.

For more visit

Get social with us: Facebook @CharterCommunitySC