Pain Management

The Department will periodically contact patients waiting for an outpatient clinic appointment via SMS, with a link to an electronic form.  This is part of routine waitlist auditing to ensure patient details are up to date.  If you receive this SMS, please update your details.

ConditionsConditions

There is no condition information for this clinic

Research shows that the best way to manage Persistent Pain is by using a biopsychosocial multidisciplinary approach to care – this means addressing not only the physical aspects of pain, but also the impact of chronic pain on a person’s mental, emotional, and social wellbeing. The Persistent Pain Service is a Multidisciplinary team of Pain specialists, Specialist Medical Practitioners, Psychiatrist Nurses, Physiotherapists and Psychologists who are skilled, trained and experienced in managing chronic pain.The Persistent Pain Service is a Level 1 training unit of the Faculty of Pain Medicine and is accredited for training future pain specialists in Australia. The Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) leads in meeting legislative obligations regarding pain training and medical standards of care, collaboration with stakeholders to establish comprehensive standards for pain management. The FPM oversees the training, examination, and ongoing education of specialist pain medicine physicians, ensuring adherence to clinical practice standards across Australia and New Zealand.

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Scope

Persistent Pain Management Services are intended to provide consultative services on a time limited basis.

The Persistent Pain Service encourages active patient participation in this process.

What we do:

  • Provide multidisciplinary assessment and management for pain conditions via group and individual programs. This means patients may see many clinicians throughout their journey including doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses, and psychiatrists.
  • Develop active self-management skills and strategies via identifying goals and working towards these.
  • Identify the contributors to pain including how to live with pain, medical concerns, coping styles, physical activity/exercise, and mental health.
  • Provide pain interventions within a multidisciplinary paradigm.

What we don’t do:

  • We do not offer a ‘fix’ for pain, nor focus primarily on “pain cure” to improving quality of life.
  • We do not authorise opioid prescriptions or Medicinal Cannabinoids– however, following medical assessment, the pain specialist may recommend changes to patient’s medication regime to their GP.
  • We do not see patients for pain interventions only – while procedures may be a part of the management plan, we do not see patients just for procedural interventions.
  • We do not provide long-term care. Engagement at the clinic is designed to be on a time- limited basis, working on specific goals and developing skills in self-management skills before discharge.
  • We are unable to see paediatric patients.
  • We do not complete NDIS or DSP applications.
  • We do not offer team care arrangements.

Our Services

We offer a variety of group and individual appointments with members of our multidisciplinary team. During the journey with our service, we can provide patients with more information so that they can make informed choices and optimize their care. These programs and consultations benefit the patient to improve their function and quality of life despite the presence of pain.

  • Multi-Disciplinary Assessments
  • Inter disciplinary Assessments
  • Individual Appointments
  • Interventional Pain Procedures
  • Rethink Pain (Group Program)
  • Activity and Pain (Group Program)

Appointment with the Persistent Pain Service does not necessarily mean or guarantee an appointment with a Specialist Pain Medicine Physician.

We also offer telehealth appointments to patients where appropriate.

Referral process

Information to be included in the referral.

Information that MUST be provided:

  • Patient goals – expectations from referral to PPS.  
    (Please ensure patient has agreed to referral and GP has been advised of referral).
  • Pain history: onset, location, nature of pain and duration
  • Psychological status and cognitive function
  • Psychiatric history (including active/ unstable mental health issues)
  • Details of previous pain management including the course of treatment(s) and outcome of treatment(s) if any
  • Comprehensive past medical history
    • History of alcohol, recreational or injectable drugs, or prescription medicine misuse
  • Current and complete medication history (including non-prescription medicines, complementary and alternative therapies).

Provide if available:

  • Details of functional impairment
  • If the person has symptoms of, or have been diagnosed with, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD Details of any current behaviours that may impact on the person’s ability to participate in a chronic pain management program (e.g. behaviours of concern, level of alcohol intake, cognition issues, reliance on a carer, mental health issues)
  • If the person has been identified as having high-risk circumstances (multiple provider episodes, high-risk drug combinations, or opioid dose threshold)
  • Results of previous investigations (e.g. nerve conduction studies, HbA1c, aetiology of peripheral neuropathy)
  • If the person has previously completed a chronic pain management program and if so the provider of the program
  • If a medication review or assessment is required
  • If the person is part of a vulnerable population.
  • Patient Literacy Issues.

Referral is NOT appropriate and will NOT be accepted for:

  • Patients that are not currently ready to engage with the biopsychosocial model of care.
  • Patients currently undertaking another chronic pain management program or under care of a private pain specialist.
  • Patients that have already completed a multidisciplinary, comprehensive chronic pain management program or service for the same identifiable cause of pain where their clinical symptoms, or their readiness to undertake a chronic pain management program, remains unchanged.
  • Patients who ONLY want an intervention such as an injection or nerve block.
  • Patients who want ONLY medications (or authority for medications).
  • Patients who are not willing to engage in a multi-disciplinary approach to pain management.
  • Patients who want NDIS documentations to support disability applications.

Complete eReferral or fax referrals to 6173 0457

Patient Pathway

Persistent Pain Service - Patient Pathway

The PPS pathway for seeing patients include:

  • A Questionnaire.
  • An Introduction session:  This outlines our model of care which is based around a cognitive and behaviour change pathway aimed at developing strategies to manage pain.
  • Appointment for a multidisciplinary pain management plan.

To progress through the PPS clinic and program, patients whose referral is accepted will have to complete an in-depth questionnaire.

The Questionnaire is essential for helping the service tailor the best approach to the patient’s needs. Patients may seek assistance from their family or friends. Where patients have difficulty completing the questionnaire, the PPS nurses (phone 6166 7871) or their GP or other health professional may aid in completing the form.

If the form is not completed, the service cannot progress with triaging the patient appropriately and the patient will be discharged from the service and the referrer will be informed.

After returning the questionnaire, most patients are invited to our “Introduction session”, which provides information about our Biopsychosocial model of care, the multidisciplinary treatment approach and basics of modern pain science and rehabilitation approaches.

Patients then decide if they wish to continue with the service. Those who choose to continue are triaged again with the additional information we have obtained, and most are offered a Multi-Disciplinary Assessment (‘MDA’) or Inter-disciplinary (IDA) and a management plan.

Appointment with the Persistent Pain Service does not necessarily mean or guarantee an appointment with a doctor/ pain specialist.

Subsequent treatment may take place at the PPS or be referred out to community therapists. The PPS offers both individual and group-based therapies with medical and allied health clinicians.

Clinic Appointments - Appointments are based on clinical priority:

Emergency

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED).
LGH ED Reception  – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED* – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED* – Phone: (03) 6493 6351 Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Advice for medical practitioners can be given by the Medical Officer In Charge (MOIC) - see HealthPathways Tasmania for contact information.
*MCH and NWRH MOICs request GPs call them prior to referring a patient to ensure the patient is being sent appropriately to a safe destination.

Urgent / category 1

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the Consultant/Registrar to organise urgent review and the referral must be faxed.

We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks, or sooner if clinically indicated.

Semi-urgent / category 2

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine / category 3

Next available appointment

Additional information

PPS Pain ECHO:

PPS Pain ECHO is a virtual peer-group learning model for primary health care providers, including general practitioners, nurses, allied health professionals and community health workers.

The PPS Pain ECHO provides an opportunity to discuss your patient cases (de-identified), get practical ideas from the other attendees - a multidisciplinary PPS team and other Primary Health participants (GPs, psychologist, physiotherapists etc) – and contribute your experience. The aim is learning through case-based discussion (there is also a short theory section).

The PPS Pain ECHO meetings are held online every fourth Thursday, 8:30 am to 9:30 am. One case is discussed per session. Registration gives you access to all sessions – attend as many or as few as you like. Sessions are free.

For more information about the ECHO model itself:

Additional Files: