Pain management service

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, we are currently offering remote appointments via video or phone call. We are monitoring the situation and will update how we deliver our services in line with government recommendations.

If you are a clinician looking to refer a patient to the WECPMS and would like to know more about what we offer or how to make a referral, please visit our www.westessexccg.nhs.uk webpage.

Our team

Our team includes senior doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, and pharmacists, all with specialist expertise in pain management. Individuals referred to our service may find they are offered the opportunity to work with one or all of the team, depending on their specific needs. As well as working closely together, we also work with other community groups and healthcare providers.

The aim of pain self-management is to a improve person’s knowledge of their pain so that they gain the confidence to manage their pain independently. To help achieve this, our team will work with individuals to provide them with new skills and strategies through group workshops or personal sessions.

Many things can affect pain, such as lack of sleep and stress or worry. The workshops that we offer will teach individuals to understand the impact that pain has on the body and mind, and how this can negatively affect activities and lifestyle.

During their journey with our team, individuals will be encouraged to identify their own personal goals and choose something that is important to them that they would like us to help them achieve. The emphasis of our service is on the individual, and how we can support them to engage in the things they enjoy and that are of value to them.

What is persistent pain?

Persistent (or chronic) pain is a pain that lasts for more than six months. For most people who have been injured, the pain stops within six months as the body’s healing process has been completed. This is known as ‘acute’ or ‘short-term’ pain. Nonetheless, for some people the pain can continue after six months, even though the body has healed. Over 28 million people in the UK live with persistent pain.

While there is no one-size-fits-all cure for persistent pain, we do know through research that a combination of different treatments, such as physiotherapy, education, and psychology, can be very effective in managing symptoms. For some people, medication may have some short-term benefits. For many people, however, medication has not been effective.

Persistent pain can be very frustrating and can prevent people from doing the things they enjoy. People who have persistent pain often tell us that their pain causes them to feel unhappy and it reduces their activities. When assessing how to help people to manage their pain, we look at all areas of their life.

Our service aims to support people to gain a better understanding of your their so that they feel empowered to self-manage it, which will in turn help improve their quality of life.

Who the service is for

The service is provided in partnership by Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (PAHT), Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) and Stellar Health Care. GPs within the West Essex CCG, hospital consultants, and MSK physiotherapists can refer to our service.

We currently offer our service from different locations across west Essex including;

  • Epping
  • Harlow
  • Bishop’s Stortford
  • Saffron Walden
  • Stansted

Once we have received a letter of referral and the person has been accepted into our service, a member of our team will contact them to offer an assessment appointment in one of our available locations. We will send a letter confirming the date, place, and time of this appointment, as well as a pre-assessment form. This form should be completed in advance and brought to the appointment. The information provided will help us understand more about the person’s pain and how it affects them. They can expect the assessment to last between 45 and 60 minutes. They may undergo a clinical exam during the assessment, so it is important that they wear comfortable clothing. At the end of the assessment, we will talk together about how we can best offer support.

After the assessment, the person may be invited to attend our Next Steps presentation. This presentation summarises the different education and pain management group workshops we offer. Some of the subjects covered by our workshops include;

  • understanding and managing pain
  • sleep and relaxation
  • diet and nutrients
  • pain medication and opioid use.

None of the workshops are mandatory; however research has shown that the more people are actively involved in the management of their long term condition, the better their understanding of and ability to manage it.

Hours of operation

Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 17:00.

How to refer into the service

You can referred to our service by your;

  • GP
  • hospital consultant
  • MSK physiotherapist

Once we have received a letter of referral and the person has been accepted into our service, a member of our team will contact them to offer an assessment appointment in one of our available locations.

We will send a letter confirming the date, place, and time of this appointment, as well as a pre-assessment form. This form should be completed in advance and brought to the appointment. The information provided will help us understand more about the person’s pain and how it affects them. They can expect the assessment to last between 45 and 60 minutes. They may undergo a clinical exam during the assessment, so it is important that they wear comfortable clothing. At the end of the assessment, we will talk together about how we can best offer support.

After the assessment, the person may be invited to attend our Next Steps presentation. This presentation summarises the different education and pain management group workshops we offer. Some of the subjects covered by our workshops include;

  •  understanding and managing pain
  • sleep and relaxation
  • diet and nutrients
  • pain medication and opioid use.

None of the workshops are mandatory; however research has shown that the more people are actively involved in the management of their long term condition, the better their understanding of and ability to manage it.

How to contact service

If you have any questions about referrals to the service, please contact our Central Referral Service, Stellar Healthcare.

Tel: 0300 303 7300 Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 16:00
Email: weccg.painmanagementreferralqueries@nhs.net

What if someone feels that the service offered is not for them?

The most important thing is that individuals feel ready to work in partnership with our service. If they do not feel this service is for them, then they do not have to attend and can decline the appointment when we contact them. Their referral will be returned to their GP who will continue to monitor them. If, at a later date, they you feel that they would like support from our service, they can ask their GP to re-refer them.