Pain Management Programme

Persistent pain (also sometimes called chronic pain) refers to pain that lasts beyond 3-6 months. Often persistent pain does not resolve with physical or medical treatment. Therefore, other approaches such as Pain Management Programmes can be useful in helping people to move towards living the life that they would like with pain.

Pain Management Programme During COVID-19

During COVID-19, we are unable to offer Face-to-Face groups, and so have developed an alternative online pain programme – the MOP (Musculoskeletal Online Programme) that we are offering. Fuller details can be found in the MOP leaflet attached below.

What Happens if I have Been Referred to a Pain Management Program?

After you have completed an assessment with a member of the Persistent Pain Team to understand your current difficulties with pain you may be offered an online or face-to-face Pain Management Programme (PMP). They will explain details about the PMP so that you can decide if you would like to start a programme.

What is the Pain Management Programme?

A PMP is a group treatment for people living with persistent pain. Often we hear that pain can leave people feeling isolated from others. A group approach allows people to connect with others who also experience pain.

A PMP offers the chance to learn self-management strategies that you can apply to your life to live more meaningfully with the pain rather than a “cure”.

There are a mix of education sessions on understanding theories of pain as well as practice sessions to help you to make changes to your life while attending the programme and beyond.

The focus of the group is an opportunity for you to learn how to change your relationship with the pain. 

During the programme you will be able to:

  • Learn about theories of pain
  • Understand the impact of pain on your thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • Learn about pacing of activity and rest
  • Develop skills to manage pain flare-ups
  • Set manageable goals for yourself
  • Understand the role of medication
  • Learn about the impact of pain on sleep and how to develop healthy sleep routines
  • Understand how movement can help you manage your pain better

What Can You Expect From Us?

The group is facilitated by members of a multidisciplinary team which includes: a clinical psychologist and a senior physiotherapist.

There will be one session on medication led by team members with a medication interest or an outside prescribing specialist.

The programme is not ‘therapy’, but is seen more as what we call “psychoeducation”. However, as was probably mentioned in your assessment, changing habits can be tricky for people. Making changes to how we work with pain can be both physically and emotionally challenging.

The team aim to support you to start gently making these difficult changes at your own pace in a compassionate way.

What Am I Expected to Do?

It seems obvious, but you will need to actually be here to engage with the material and see how to make changes, so we would really encourage you to attend.

The group involves time, commitment and the necessary resources (internet and device if it is online) for you to get the most of it.  The PMP involves being able to practice applying some of the techniques that we discuss in your everyday life. This is what makes the most difference in the long-term and will allow you to see what aspects feel tricky to do.

We want the programme to be as useful as possible for you, which is through you being able to attend all the sessions. Unfortunately, if you miss three sessions of the programme, we may ask you to step back from the PMP. Our experience is that people who miss three sessions struggle to put stuff in place or to make changes. It’s also hard for other members of the group if you are working at an earlier stage than they are.  Other than under exceptional circumstances, we cannot offer people another programme.

As you will know you are not encouraged to attend hospital if you have a systemic illness e.g. tummy bug or flu. We understand that you cannot attend the sessions, however if this leads to you missing three sessions then we will have to discuss this with you.

If you are unable to attend a session, please let us know as soon as possible by contacting the team (using the contact details on your programme confirmation letter).  Also please contact us if you are going to be late.  We will start the course without you, but there are sessions that cannot start until everyone is here.

Confidentiality

We value your confidentiality. In line with NHS guidelines, we sometimes need to share information with other professionals involved in your care. As part of safe practice we will also discuss cases during supervision. It is a legal requirement for the service to record clinical notes and information. These are stored on a secure and protected clinical system.

In the group, we ask that any discussions remain confidential and that this is respected by the members of the group.

We do encourage you to discuss what is being learnt with loved ones, but this doesn’t include experiences, comments or difficulties of other group members. Therefore, we would advise that you only share what you feel comfortable in disclosing within the group setting.

You are part of a group, and together (the group and the team) we aim to provide support and create a safe enough space for people attending to explore putting these ideas into practice.  We will be starting by looking at what will create a safe enough space for all group members. We will be discussing this with the group as a whole and trying to set up what we would call general principles for this. However, these principles may mean different things to different people at times. The team may need to discuss if people do not seem to be being polite, considerate, or sensitive to the needs of others in the room (which includes the team). While this can feel quite restrictive for some people, remembering always that this is not just about you but the group as a whole.

The Persistent Pain Team

Pain Lead
Mrs Karen Cox: Senior Advanced Nurse

Pain Psychologist
Dr Catherine Cameron: Principal Clinical Psychologist
Dr Claire Elphick: Principal Clinical Psychologist
Dr Sarah Edwards: Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist
Dr Olivia Hirst: Highly Specialist Counselling Psychologist
Dr Judith Bird: Clinical Psychologist
Dr Kinza Janjua: Clinical Psychologist

Advanced Practitioner in Pain
Mr Chris Miller: Advanced Practitioner
Ms Kirsty Pendleton: Advanced Practitioner
Mr Robin Williamson: Advanced Practitioner
Ms Sam Maund: Advanced Practitioner 

Clinical Specialist Practitioner in Pain
Ms Cathryn Lord: Clinical Specialist Practitioner
Mr George Prudden: Clinical Specialist Practitioner

Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pain
Ms Cathy Clawson: Clinical Nurse Specialist

If you have been invited to join the Virtual Pain Management Programme, click here to access Week 1.