Chronic Pain Service

Belfast Trust Pain Service offers a multi-disciplinary approach to improving the effects of persistent or chronic pain. It aims to help people manage their pain and improve their quality of life by:

  • explaining why you may have pain that has lasted longer than expected and provide relevant information 
  • offering you advice regarding different aspects of your pain (e.g. education sessions, one to one consultation, Pain Management Programme)
  • suggesting interventions that could help reduce the pain and help you manage your pain more effectively (eg. advice/review, TENS, medication, acupuncture, etc.)
  • Offering interventional pain relief where suitable (eg. specialised medication, interventions such as injections, nerve blocks or infusions)

 

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is a challenge for the patient and healthcare professional as it cannot be seen. The best way to manage pain is to form a partnership between yourself, GP and any other health professionals working with you.

Chronic or persistent pain, as it is sometimes referred to, is pain that lasts longer than the time it would normally be expected to (usually more than 3 months). It has been defined by the British Pain Society as “continuous, long-term pain of more than 12 weeks or after the time that healing would have been thought to have occurred in pain after trauma or surgery”. Persistent pain can cause significant distress and can have a disruptive impact on your all aspects of your life.

 

How to access the Service

Referrals to this service can only be made by GPs or other healthcare professionals.

 

Referral Criteria

Referrals can be made for any patient experiencing pain for at least 3-6 months and have pain that limits their daily activities.

Attending an Appointment – What to Expect? 

  • You will be sent a letter from the appointments office asking you to contact them to arrange a date for an appointment with a member of the team. Please ensure that you read ALL letters carefully and know which site you are to attend as we currently offer clinics across many sites within the Belfast Trust. Please ensure that you bring a list of all your current medications to your appointment.
  • We would ask you to arrive promptly and we will do our best to ensure that our clinics run on time. At your appointment you will receive a physical examination. You may be asked to describe your pain and also some questions about the impact of pain on your day to day life (eg. how it affects your sleep, mood, general activities).
  • If you are unable to attend for your appointment please contact the appointments office as soon as possible.

Locations:

Hospitals:

 
Musgrave Park Hospital 
Mater Hospital 
Belfast City Hospital (based at Dufferin Building – location and map)

Community:

Knockbreda Health Wellbeing & Treatment Centre 
Carlise Health Wellbeing & Treatment Centre

 

The Team

 
Belfast Trust Pain Service team consists of consultants in pain medicine and anaesthesiology, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and administrators.

 

Further Reading

The Chronic Pain Services

Chronic Pain live life - A guide for Patients in Chronic Pain