Pain Management Department

How we can help you

Anyone who is suffering from pain that is interfering with their life is eligible to use our service. Our aim is to help you to manage your pain. We focus on the medical, physical, social, psychological and environmental factors associated with pain.

Together, with you, we can develop a plan to:

  • help reduce how much pain you are experiencing,
  • increase what you can do,
  • regain control of your life, and
  • improve your overall quality of life.

A hospital-based team of health professionals who will work together with you, to help you manage your pain.

Doctors who specialise in pain medicine, anaesthesia, addiction medicine, psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine will help you:

  • understand what pain you are experiencing and potential contributing causes,
  • reduce your pain by offering medical treatments,
  • focus on the relationship between how the pain you are experiencing affects what you can do and to develop a plan with you to maximise how much you can do,
  • in dealing with how pain is affecting your emotional health,
  • if you are affected by substance use including prescribed medicines, and
  • if you suffer from acute pain such as pain after having surgery.

Nurses help with pain assessments, education and pain treatments. 

The physiotherapist will work with you to improve your physical fitness and abilities. They will develop an exercise program to keep you moving and be active.

Clinical psychologists will explore how you are coping with pain and what impact it is having on your life (eg mood, family, work and leisure activities) and help you to develop strategies to manage your pain better.

The pharmacist understands medicines and how different medicines can interact with each other. They will instruct you how to take your medicines at the right dose and time. 

The occupational therapist will help you to maximise your independence when it comes to everyday living (eg self-care, work and leisure activities) with the use of appropriate aids.

Our social worker is available to help you with practical social and emotional issues that you may experience.  They can also provide you with information and education around what other community services are available.

We provide the following services:

Acute Pain Management

While you are in hospital, our team will help you deal with any pain you may experience related to your medical condition, trauma or surgery. Our team visits the wards each day and we are on call 24 hours a day.

We use a range of medicines to relieve pain.  Some of them you receive intravenously through a tube inserted in your veins. Sometimes you can manage this medicine yourself through a special machine.  Other medicines we use include tablets you would take orally or injections which help with pain.

Our Pain Clinic for chronic pain

Some people experience long term ongoing pain. Our team can work with you to find out what might be causing your persistent pain, how best to minimise it and how you can develop some strategies to cope better with this pain. Treatments include medicines and injections; electrical stimulation; exercise therapies; pain education, counselling, practicing meditation and relaxation techniques and reviewing your home, leisure and work environments. Some of these are offered to you individually. Others are offered on a group basis. They are generally undertaken in the outpatient setting but some treatments may require a brief stay in hospital.

Pain Self Management Programs

Our team offers group pain management programs and individual treatment plans to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to manage your pain, to improve your quality of life and to function as well as possible. Your suitability for the programs will be determined in consultation with you following your assessment by a pain specialist, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, and physiotherapist in our team. Prior to these assessments, you will need to attend the Pain Management Education Session.

Pain Management Education Session – 2-hour presentation held every four to six weeks. Attendance is required before accessing other programs.
Mindfulness-based wellness program facilitated by our nurse team – 1.5 hours per week for 6 weeks.

Walk and Talk with our psychologist and physiotherapist at Coogee Coastal Walk

Referral to online self-guided pain courses (mindspot.org.au or thiswayup.org.au)

BPSM (Brief Pain Self-Management) a low intensity group program of 12.5 hours, 2.5 hours/week for five consecutive weeks with our psychologist and physiotherapist. Includes 45 minutes of supervised exercise each session.

PRISM (Pain Rehabilitation to Improve Self-Management) a moderate intensity group program of 50 hours, twice per week 9:30am to 3:30pm for five consecutive weeks with our psychologist and physiotherapist and other team members. Includes several exercise sessions each day.

Cancer Pain Management

If you have very severe pain from cancer, you may find our team working with the palliative care and cancer treatment teams to help manage your pain.

Complex pain services

Our department is also a referral centre for patients requiring more complex pain assessment and management.

     

    This video consultation service is for people who have a scheduled appointment with the Prince of Wales Pain Management Telehealth Clinic.

    Appointments for this service must be arranged in advanced, if you have booked a telehealth video-consultation, simply click the start video call button 5 minutes before your booked appointment.

     

    start video call

     

    These video calls work using the Google Chrome web browser.                                           

    No special software or plugins need to be installed.                                                   

    Google Chrome can be downloaded at: www.google.com/chrome.

    To come to our pain management clinic you will need your local general practitioner (GP) or specialist to write you a referral letter explaining your medical history, relevant scans or x-ray results and what medicines you are taking.

    Your referral should be sent to the Department of Pain Management, Prince of Wales Hospital, Barker Street, Randwick, NSW 2031 or it could be faxed to us at 9382 2870.  Your GP may want you to see a specific specialist. If so, they can state this in the referral letter.

    Once we have received your referral letter, we will send you a set of questionnaires which you will need to complete and return to us. The questionnaires can be sent to your email address if you write your email address on your referral. The questionnaires will help us understand your pain better and an appointment will then be made for you to see the relevant specialist or team of specialists.

    Clinic days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday.

    If you need to change your appointment time or you decide you do not want to attend the Pain Clinic, please ring us on 9382 2863. By letting us know you cannot or don’t wish to attend we can help someone else.

    After your first appointment at the Pain Clinic, future appointments with your pain specialist are generally made by the staff at the Prince of Wales Hospital Outpatients Department.

    You may also be contacted by our allied health staff (eg physiotherapist, clinical psychologist, and occupational therapist) regarding specific appointments.

    The Pain Management Clinic has doctor clinics, psychology clinics, physiotherapy clinics and nurse clinics at set times.  We try to find an appointment time that allows you to attend.

    Waiting times

    Depending on what pain you are experiencing, we will prioritise your appointment. For example, if you have severe pain from cancer or an acute form of pain, we will try to see you within two weeks.

    In general, the waiting times can sometimes stretch to three months or more but we will try to see you earlier if it is possible.

    On the day of your appointment every effort will be made to keep your appointment on time, however unavoidable delays may occur. Hospital staff trust you will be understanding in the event of this occurring.

      Please bring:

      • Your Medicare card or Veteran Affairs card.
      • A list of your medicines including any herbal or over the counter medicines.
      • Any recent x rays or medical images and their reports
      • Current Medicare card or Veterans Affairs card
      • Insurer details if you are claiming workers compensation, public liability or third party insurance
      • Private Health Fund membership card if you are currently insured with a private health fund

      In your first appointment, you may see either a pain specialist alone or a team of specialists including the doctor, clinical psychologist and physiotherapist. If we need to do further assessments another time will be arranged for us to do this. A management plan will be discussed and developed with your input and support.

      Make an appointment with your local family doctor to talk to them first.  If your local doctor needs some advice they can telephone us.

      Research

      We are dedicated to learning more about what causes pain and more effective ways people can deal with pain. We are also interested in monitoring some of the medicines people use for their pain. We do this in partnership with other research teams and health services.

      We may ask you if you would like to be part of our research. You have the right to say no. This will in no way impact on the services we provide to you.

      Training and Education

      Prince of Wales Hospital is a public teaching hospital. Our department is actively involved in teaching medical students, doctors, nursing and other health care staff about how to best manage pain.  We are also accredited with the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists to provide specialist training for doctors to specialise in the area of pain medicine. You may be asked to be involved in research or for a student to be present at your appointment. You have a right to say no. If you do so, this will no impact in any way on the services we will provide.

      Please let us know if you need an interpreter. You can contact us telephoning the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. Tell the operator what language you speak and then ask the interpreter to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the healthcare professional you want to speak with.