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NHS Trust first in the country to translate ‘ESCAPE-pain’ chronic joint pain programme into Gujarati

Rapidly expanding ESCAPE-pain programme, born in south London, has now been translated into Gujarati. Hear all about it in this exclusive video produced by our AHSN colleagues at Imperial College Health Partners.


Physiotherapists at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust have successfully translated a rehabilitation programme for patients with chronic knee and hip pain into Gujarati for the first time.

Previously only available in English, ESCAPE-pain is a programme for people with chronic knee and hip pain that runs over six weeks combining educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen for each patient.

The physiotherapy team at Northwick Park Hospital (NPH) identified that a significant proportion of their local community were missing out on attending the programme because one of the criteria is for participants to have a good level of English.

Through truly living their Trust’s HEART value of Equality, the team used their expertise to overcome these language barriers. Karsh Patel and Arti Inamadar translated the sessions, allowing members of the local Gujarati community to take part and benefit from ESCAPE-pain. Further sessions are planned in Northwick Park Hospital and have the potential to be used in other locations across the country.

Tanya Aptowitzer, Musculoskeletal Therapy Lead from NPH, said: “We’re immensely proud of our ethnically diverse workforce and our physios who have gone above and beyond to meet the needs of our local Gujarati speaking population. Through their initiative and the support of the Trust we have been able to help patients that would have otherwise been excluded.”

A local patient Aruna on completing the course said: “Having this translated in Gujarati has helped us to properly understand as our English isn’t that good. ESCAPE-pain has given us knowledge about what we should do to reduce pain and in a group we can all do it together.”

ESCAPE-pain is one of the seven programmes developed regionally which have been selected for national adoption and spread across the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) 2018-2020. Imperial College Health Partners (ICHP), as North West London’s AHSN, have been supporting local NHS Trusts and CCGs in this work.

Piers Milner, Innovation Advisor from ICHP, said: “For innovation in the NHS to thrive it needs to be shaped and its adoption supported by local communities. The team, through translating ESCAPE-pain into Gujarati, have shown the key role that frontline staff have in shaping innovative programmes to meet the needs for their local patients.”

Professor Mike Hurley, originator of the ESCAPE-pain programme, said: “It’s really great to see our programme translated into other languages so that as many people as possible benefit. The pain caused by arthritis has no language barriers, so interventions that can help shouldn’t be hindered by language either. It is wonderful to see that the local physiotherapists have responded to the needs of their local community and taken the time to translate the programme into Gujarati. We know getting to non-English speaking populations is difficult and I’m sure this will encourage more people to take part and benefit from the programme.”