RHH Persistent Pain Service: Screening Referral Guide

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.

Screening Guidelines

This guide aims to assist in determining referral suitability to the Persistent Pain Service at the RHH.

The patient should be referred by their GP

The patient should have:

  • A GP prepared to work as part of the multidisciplinary team
  • Pain that interferes with their quality of life, mood and/or function
  • Goals to  improve function (physical, psychological & social)
  • Been fully investigated or assessed by appropriate allied health.

The patient should not:

  • Have unstable, non-therapeutic drug dependence without treatment by Drug and Alcohol Services
  • Have an active, untreated mental health condition
  • Have spinal pain with significant neurological deficits or significant neurological deterioration
  • Be undergoing treatment from other specialist services for the same pain problem
  • Be cross-referred to other specialist services for the same pain problem.

Conditions requiring prompt referral:

  • Recent complex regional pain syndrome
  • Cancer-related pain where procedural intervention may be indicated.
  • Trigeminal and Post herpetic neuralgias.
  • Recent specific nerve injuries with ongoing pain (e.g. Phantom limb pain)

Referral Guidelines

Required information:

  • Patient and GP goals
  • Diagnosis if known
  • Mechanism of injury (if applicable)
  • Physical findings
  • Functional status and psychological distress
  • History of treatment for pain including medications and physical therapies
  • Past/current and future assessments/management from other specialists for the same problem
  • Relevant medical and surgical history
  • History of drug dependence
  • Current medications

If the referral contains insufficient information it may be returned. Sufficient information is required to categorise and place the patient on an appropriate wait list.

Referrals can be sent on RHH templates.

See Persistent Pain Service Frequently Asked Questions for Referrers.


  • The PPS offers a time limited service
  • Unfortunately, we cannot participate in Team Care Arrangements (TCAs)