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Community Chronic Pain Service

Supporting patients to manage and live well with chronic pain, minimising the impact and overcoming the challenges that living with chronic pain brings.

Contact us

0300 123 1753

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Who we are

We are a multi-disciplinary team of expert chronic pain clinicians helping patients manage their long-term pain in outpatient clinics across east Kent, Swale and west Kent. We accept referrals from outside this area for patients who are prepared to travel. Virtual appointments are also offered.

What we do

Based on information provided in your referral letter, senior clinicians will triage you to the branch of the pain services where your needs might be best met.

This might be an assessment in secondary care regarding suitability for a possible pain-reducing procedure or the holistic approach of the community chronic pain service.

Ehlers-Danlos Society Centre of ExcellenceThis may include making the best use of your medication, therapies other than medication, psychological therapies, and pain education. The two services work in collaboration with each other and patients may be referred across from one to the other where needed.

For those patients with symptomatic hypermobility, you might be reassured to know that we are an Ehlers-Danlos Society recognised Centre of Excellence and that many of our clinicians are EDS ECHO trained. Although patients cannot be referred to us solely for diagnostic purposes, if you are our patient, we could facilitate diagnosis where required.

Referral received and triaged
What is most likely to help?
Interventional approach indicated Holistic (biopsychosocial) approach indicated
Acute trust pain team Community trust pain team
Introduction to Pain Group (face to face or virtual)
If required following assessment
One to one assessment
Our service is delivered by members of a multidisciplinary team. You will not need all elements of the service; your individual plan will be made at your first one to one appointment.
Pain management advice Movement therapies Psychological therapies (not available in all locations) Pain management programme
Your plan will be unique to you. When you have completed the elements of your plan, you will be discharged from the service.

How do you use this service?

You should be referred by GP, consultant or other health care professional, please see referral guidelines attached.  Triage will be based upon the information provided.

Patients who have previously been seen by the community service can get in touch with the team directly if within one year of discharge.

Referral criteria
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East Kent Pain services are run jointly by East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust and Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

West Kent Pain services are run jointly by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust and Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

Referral guidelines for Chronic Pain Management in Kent

Pain services in Kent consist of a comprehensive multidisciplinary service within primary care and an interventional service within secondary care to support patients to develop self-management strategies, enhance their quality of life and reduce dependency on healthcare services. There is a Single Point of Access based at Mill Lane House, where all letters are triaged by senior clinicians on a daily basis.

Your referral should include the following information:

  • Diagnosis and brief history of pain
  • Details of current medications
  • Treatments tried
  • Relevant diagnostic investigations/results/clinic letters
  • List other medical problems ( summary only)
  • Psychosocial history, if appropriate
  • Any past psychiatric history
  • Details of any previous pain clinic treatment pathways
  • Patients' and referrers' expectations.

All referrals should come via ERS

Search:

East Kent Integrated Pain Service (CCG name) RAS (1) - RYY
or
West Kent Integrated Pain Management Service RAS 1 - RYY

Request Type:           Referral

Priority:                     Routine

Specialty:                  Pain Management

Clinic Type:               Pain Management

Search Results:         Select Send for Triage

Please ensure relevant information is attached to the referral on e-RS.

For help and advice regarding referrals:

Email to: kcht.chronicpainreferralpoint@nhs.net or Call 0300 123 1753

(We will reply to your questions within 48 hrs (normal working days).

 

Criteria

Explanatory notes
Have tried first line medication appropriate to the type of pain. Regular Paracetamol +- NSAIDS (where appropriate)

Low dose opiates ( where appropriate)

Tricylics / Anticonvulsants for neuropathic pain, as indicated by local guidelines

Have had investigations to rule out treatable pathology and diagnostic pathway completed. The Pain Clinic does not offer diagnostic work-ups.

Acceptance and development of self-management strategies is impeded when patients are expecting a solution or cure for their pain.

In the case of Widespread Body Pain with Fatigue (i.e. suspected Fibromyalgia/CFS), the Rheumatology Dept. advises the following: FBC/ESR/ U+E/LFT/TFT/CRP/CPK/ANF/RF (or refer Rheumatology if in doubt).

If Vit D deficiency is suspected as a cause of widespread pain, please follow local Biochemistry policy for Vit D testing.

Also see the regional CFS service criteria on their website.

Patients have completed their involvement with other clinical services and are now discharged. Patients should not be seeing other teams for the same problem as this hampers acceptance and confuses pathways (unless truly requiring on-going therapy, for instance Biologicals in Rheumatology).
Appropriate information/documentation is attached. This would include medical problem list, medications and copies of consultant letters or imaging reports. We do not have access to this information.

It will help us triage the referral appropriately and allocate your patient to the most appropriate clinician on a timely basis.

It enables safer treatment suggestions and prevents duplicating pathways.

It helps us create meaning for patients out of past diagnoses.

Have had pain for more than 3 months. This is in line with accepted definitions of "chronic pain".
Acute conditions need appropriate investigation/management. (Acute Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is an exception.)
There is evidence that active rehabilitation has been sought for musculoskeletal conditions. The Chronic Pain Service is aimed at those patients who have not responded to standard treatments, not those who have not yet been exposed to standard treatments.
No "red flags" (direct referral to secondary care) Chronic Pain is a routine service. Patients requiring urgent
attention should be referred to the appropriate clinical discipline in secondary care.

 

Exclusions

Explanatory notes
Severe unstable psychiatric illness, certain personality disorders, severe untreated depression. This would pose a barrier to the methods used in chronic pain management and prevents the patient from achieving a successful outcome.
The Pain Clinic psychologists do not provide general psychology services.
Current substance abusers not undergoing addiction management. It is recognised that these patients are unable to engage in pain management. They need to be stabilized by the Addiction Services first.
Requests for single / stand-alone therapies ie acupuncture. Referrals are only accepted for holistic pain management, which may include a trial of previously untried therapies.
Children under 13 years old. This is an adult service.

Children between 13-16 yrs could be accepted, if deemed able to engage with pain management modalities.

Please note that any patient younger than 18 requiring interventions needs to be referred to tertiary care.

Housebound patients. We do not provide a Home visiting service.
If your fully housebound patient is unable to interact with us via remote/virtual platforms, then please rather contact us directly if you require medication advice.
Patients awaiting definitive treatment for the problem, for instance surgery. There is no point in embarking on a biopsychosocial pain management program, if a possible solution is still awaited.
You can contact us directly if you require medication advice in the interim.
Patients with active cancers, requiring pain management other than a specific intervention in secondary care. This falls under Palliative care. We do not provide symptom management.
Duplicate referral A referral for this patient has already been received.
Referral from outside the commissioned area The patient's GP practice is not within the area commissioned by the relevant CCG and we may need to confirm whether Out of Area arrangements are in place first.

 

 

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Your comments

January 2024
Maidstone

They have been very informative, supportive and compassionate.

May 2023
Whitstable

Colin listened and gave suggestions on how to proceed and what the next step would be.

May 2023
Thanet

Very informative course and content.

May 2023
Whitstable

The Clinical Specialist Lesley was understanding of my needs and pain that I have been experiencing and went above and beyond to try and help me.

May 2023
Ashford

I was very impressed that my description of my problems was understood and believed and suggestions to assist were made immediately.

April 2023
Whitstable

Always felt listened to by knowledgeable practitioners.

April 2023
Maidstone

Very friendly and good information given, helpful with medication and a plan for moving forward.

April 2023
Ashford

Sympathetic, understanding helpful and generally nice to talk to.

April 2023
Sevenoaks

Friendly, helpful, professional staff.

April 2023
Thanet

The staff were very welcoming and informative as well as understanding. The sessions were well planned and helpful. Very good at easing anxiety. It was good to be with other people who understand living with pain.

March 2023
Canterbury

Colin was excellent in his ability to listen, advise and support and showed first rate evidence based knowledge of the subject.

March 2023
Maidstone

It was very informative and I felt very listened to and that I was cared about too.

March 2023
Deal

Professionalism, listening skills were excellent, advise and information, careful wording and feeling valued.

March 2023
Deal

Everything was very professional. Friendly and quick.

March 2023
Maidstone

The instructor was very clear, gave the class time and space to work within our own limits. I think Dominique inspired confidence by her calm and pleasant manner.

March 2023
Canterbury

Very understanding staff, provided all information requested (sometimes repeated), fully understood my conditions and medication needs. Always willing to explain things in simpler terms to enable me to understand.

January 2023
Dover

I suffer from anxiety, Louise was excellent and put me at ease from the first session explaining clearly what the Alexander technique was and what to expect over the 12 week course.

January 2023
Thanet

Christina is very understanding and does not rush you.

January 2023
HMP Rochester

Highly informative with innovative ideas to help me deal with the pain I've experienced over years. Fantastic !

January 2023
Sevenoaks

Dominique was wonderful, very well done and most helpful.

December 2022
Deal

Natasha was lovely, explained everything thoroughly and listened to me.

December 2022
Swale

The lady was very patient when I answered my questions. I felt at ease and she had a kind voice. I didn't feel judged.

December 2022
Ashford

Very informative, provided reassurance and support. Very knowledgeable.

December 2022
Thanet

Very professional, supportive and understanding.

December 2022
Whitstable

The person made me feel not alone.

December 2022
Maidstone

Listened to my needs. Gave me exercises to help, and looked after me well.

June 2022
Shepway

Colin and the team have been extremely helpful and understanding with my complex medical problems.

June 2022
Canterbury

I felt that I was given lots of time, help and understanding. Felt very reassured and supported.

June 2022
Thanet

Samantha was very friendly and helpful, she gave me loads of good information and listened sympathetically to my issues.

May 2022
Maidstone

Everyone who spoke was very informative. Lots of information given.

June 2022
Dover

Katie listened to my concerns with kindness and offered practical advice/suggestions that were useful.

May 2022
Ashford

My gratitude for an excellent treatment both in the skill of the therapist and the time given.

May 2022
Canterbury

I was listened to and able to actively participate in the appointment.

May 2022
Thanet

Felt listened to with empathy and understanding.

April 2022
Maidstone

Very knowledgeable, very helpful with understanding condition.

April 2022
Ashford

I had a positive connection with Shirley, she was always warm and welcoming. She gave me a safe space to really feel things and to process through those feelings.

April 2022
Maidstone

Mindful movement classes were very helpful. Instructions were clear and movements were easy. Dominique was very helpful if you were suffering a particular issue and specifically adapted movements.

March 2022
Ashford

He was absolutely brilliant, didn’t dismiss me, listened to what I said and has got many ideas to try yo help me. Explained everything, I am so pleased that I got to speak with him. Cannot tell you how happy I am.

March 2022
Thanet

Well paced. Clear information given. Questions answered. Attention paid to the fact that chronic pain sufferers need breaks to move about.

March 2022
Deal

Professional. Took time to explain. Gave me skills to help myself as well as treatment.

February 2022
Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells

She was very helpful and understanding of my condition.

February 2022
Ashford

Louise took time to fully explain the Alexander Technique and offer very practical advice to help me use this in my day to day life.

February 2022
Canterbury

I found the service informative and helpful. Telephone consultations were prompt and on time. I enjoyed the pain management course.

February 2022
Maidstone

Everyone was so friendly and actually listened to you and what you think and feel, you believe they care.

January 2022
Deal

Katie was polite and supportive in her questioning to gather the information required to make a recommendation, on the issue effecting me.

January 2022
Dover

Natasha was amazing. With people like her working for the NHS we are truly blessed.

January 2022
Shepway

This talking therapy has been absolutely transformative for my mental wellness.

January 2022
Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells

Staff member was very knowledgable about managing pain. He was patient and understood the various problems I have.

January 2022
Thanet

This is an amazing service, I felt listened to and the suggestions given really helped.

December 2021
Thanet

Jamie was understanding and drew me out carefully allowing me to gain a deeper understanding of myself and my difficulties.

December 2021
Swale

I was pleased to have someone listening to me and reassuring me about my condition and advising ways in which to cope and manage my pain.

November 2021
Maidstone

The chronic pain team literally changed my life. I felt listened to and through the support of the service and the clinicians I then felt empowered to take back my life :-)

December 2021
Dover

Exceptionally good. The staff were friendly, caring and professional - an excellent team, imparting a vast amount of information. (Easy parking and no steps).

November 2021
Thanet

I have learnt a lot, lots of things have been explained, which has helped. Everyone is very easy to approach.

November 2021
Maidstone

Robert telephoned promptly at the time agreed. He was sympathetic and reassuring. He explained everything clearly and concisely.

November 2021
Canterbury

Colin explained everything precisely and clearly. I understood all these questions help me give clear answers.

November 2021
Ashford

Lisa was very understanding and informative with me, kind and caring.

November 2022
Whitstable

Knowledgeable staff. Knew about my issues and gave good advice

November 2022
Maidstone

Very informative. Encouraged to speak up. Welcoming. Encouraging.

November 2022
Ashford

I was listened to and a plan of action was put into place.

October 2022
Dover

Dominique was amazing in sessions very calming, helpful and patient.

October 2022
Maidstone

Well paced, calm, informative, non-judgemental.

October 2022
Thanet

Friendly, informative. I have learnt a lot from Pain Management Team and other group members.

September 2022
Ashford

Nicky was lovely person very knowledgeable and the exercises given definitely helped.

September 2022
Shepway

Very polite professional and heart warming experience. Very reassuring.

September 2022
Maidstone

Friendly approachable staff and the information was both informative and thorough. Made a lot of sense.

September 2022
Canterbury

Samantha was very professional and sympathetic to my problems.

September 2022
Sevenoaks

Good speakers, clear and concise with what they were saying and made subjects easy to understand and explained them well.

August 2022
Maidstone

Very insightful, helpful and empathetic.

July 2022
Thanet

Dominique was very polite and understanding one of nicest people I've met, thank you.

July 2022
Canterbury

The group was well organised, with lots of helpful information. Very welcoming and very understanding. Was nice to be in a group that understands.

July 2022
Dover

Excellence service and Samantha listened to my problems and offered helpful advice.

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