The Pain Service team helps people who have pain that doesn’t go away; it may be called ‘chronic’ or ‘persistent pain’ and this usually means lasting 3 months or more. It is not unusual to the chronic pain team to meet people who have struggled with pain for many years.

About the chronic pain service

If you have pain that persists despite medical treatment you might be referred to the chronic pain team. The chronic pain service includes doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists all working together to help you manage your pain.

Things we do include helping people to:

  • Find the best mix of medications or reduce your medications if they are not working well for you.
  • Understand your long term pain.
  • Using medical treatments such as injections for some people.
  • Support to get fitter and stronger so you can move more easily, despite pain.
  • Help you work out the best ways to manage your life with long term pain.
  • Help with strategies to manage lots of problems that come with pain, eg sleeping badly, good days and bad days, exercise, low mood, communicating with people about pain.

Specialist Doctor clinics available at:

Our Nurse, Physiotherapy, Psychology, and Occupational Therapy clinics are available at:

How can I get referred to the service?

Please ask your GP to refer you. If you are seeing another Health Professional they might also be able to refer you.

How to refer

Please refer via ERS to the Pain Doctors, or to the rest of the MDT by letter addressed to Polly Ashworth, Chronic Pain Service, Beacon House, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Great Western Road, Gloucester GL1 3NN Advice for non GP’s about how to refer to the multidisciplinary team (MDT) is available here. Please mention if the patient has been seen in pain clinic (locally or elsewhere) before.

I am a health professional. How do I refer someone to the service?

Doctors can accept referrals for children and adults, however the rest of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) will only see adults.

Pain Service referral criteria

Your patient must meet the Pain Service referral criteria:

  • Person has persistent or complex pain (ie has lasted 3 months or more, and associated with significant distress and disability).
  • Difficulties with pain medications which are ineffective, or escalating.
  • Appropriate investigations and treatment for any possible causes of the pain have been completed.
  • Patient needs help to manage the impact of their pain on their daily life.

Pain referral for children

Children needing help with pain self-management can be referred to the child and adolescent service at Bath, for more information please click here

Advice and guidance from the Pain Doctors is available through ERS.

NHS Pain Self-Management Programme

This is a course for people with long term pain. The course runs for up to 8 weeks and the weekly sessions are about two and a half hours. The course is fun and informal and you can meet other people who know what it is like to live with long term pain. We cover the following topics:

  • Understand the pain, what is wrong and why it becomes long-term
  • Learn new ways of managing everyday activities without making the pain worse
  • Improve balance, get fitter, stronger and more flexible
  • Make better use of medication
  • Communicate more clearly about pain
  • Learn skills for coping with the sadness, worry or anger associated with persistent pain
  • Prepare a plan for times when pain flares up
  • Manage work issues associated with pain
  • Reduce the effects of stress caused by pain

Find out what people say about attending a pain management programme.

Mindfulness

This link/section will tell you about mindfulness and the mindfulness group course that we offer

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Pain

This section is all about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Pain - aiming to help us have the most fulfilling life we can, despite having difficulties along the way.

Exercise

This section has been developed in collaboration with our physiotherapists and occupational therapists to provide information to help you with daily exercise and pacing.

Managing good days and bad days

This section has been developed in collaboration with our occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists to provide information to help you with managing daily activities and pacing.

Medication

The information in this section has been approved by our specialist pain nurses and doctors.

Relaxation

This section has been developed in collaboration with our psychologists to information and guidance on relaxation techniques, which can help to reduce your pain.

Sex

This section has been developed in collaboration with our occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists to provide information and resources to help you with the effects of persistent pain on your sex life.

Sleep

This section provides generalised advice and resources from our occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists to help you with sleeping, as well as a Sleep Quiz.

Where to find more information and local services for people with pain

Any reading materials featured in this section should be available from your local library services or to purchase online, other sources are available to view for free online.

Injections

These can be discussed at the pain clinic with a consultant. Read here for more information

What will happen at my clinic appointment?

This depends on which member of the chronic pain team you are meeting. An important part of any clinic appointment is finding out about your pain and how it is affecting you. It really helps if you come with a list of things you want to discuss. We will explain any treatment approaches that might be suitable for you.

Long term pain is difficult to treat. We will do our best to understand and help you with your pain. It is rare that we can cure pain for people who have had it for a long time. However, a little pain relief, a better night’s sleep, or help to walk further can make a big difference even if the pain continues.

BEST CARE FOR EVERYONE