As a regional pain unit, we deliver more consultant led clinical sessions in pain medicine than any other hospital in the North West region. Our team is made up of six part time pain consultants, one associate specialist, three specialist chronic pain nurses, two physiotherapists and two psychologists. Together, we see about 1500-2000 new pain patients every year.
As a team we are a diverse and friendly department. We fully support career development and flexible working patterns. We also encourage our colleagues
to develop an interest in fields of their choice including: spinal cord simulation, pelvic pain, rapid access pain clinic, pain management programme, radiofrequency lesioning, facial pain, education and research.
The pain management service
As a unit, we are able to offer a whole range of pain management strategies from pain management programmes to complex interventions like radiofrequency ablation, coeliac plexus block, splanchnic plexus block, lumbar sympathetic block, interventions for cancer patients, interventions for trigeminal neuralgia, and spinal cord stimulation for back pain, leg pain, neck and arm pain and complex regional pain syndrome.
We have an inpatient pain team which includes four specialist nurses and is led by a consultant with a special interest in acute pain. There is a daily ward round which is led by our nurses and is supported by three consultant led ward rounds per week. We usually have about 600 epidurals per year (excluding obstetrics).
Our pain centre has active ongoing research opportunities, and our pain team has a weekly education and research meeting with breakfast provided to focus on these opportunities. We have a collaborative research programme with the University of Central Lancashire which enables us to progress research opportunities. There are currently two industry funded studies going on and we are being looked at for participation in phase 1b studies too. We have excellent support from our NIHR Lancashire Clinical Research Facility; which is based at Preston Hospital to undertake these studies.
In 2014, our hospital was registered as a provisional endometriosis centre with the British Society for Gynaecology (BSGE). This means we provide multidisciplinary pain management for patients with endometriosis.
In 2018, we became one of the first hospitals to start a Rapid Access Pain Service (RAPS) to prevent hospital admissions of acute on chronic pain patients presenting to our emergency departments.
There is extensive cross-over and co-operation between our inpatient and outpatient pain teams. We have recently appointed a band 8 nurse lead to take both our inpatient and outpatient services forward. We also work closely with our colleagues in prosthetics, neurorehabilitation, oncology and palliative care. Preston Hospital hosts centres for major trauma, vascular surgery, cancer and neurosurgery, which gives us a wide, diverse caseload. We enjoy excellent relationships with our local general practitioners and CCGs and are very well supported in our work.
The pain management team
We are a diverse and friendly team who are fully supportive of career development and flexible working patterns to ensure that our colleagues are happy at work.
Our team comprises a large, but friendly and inclusive team of individuals who have a wide range of subspecialist interests and are committed to providing the best care for our patients. We encourage our team members to develop an interest in fields of their choice so that they can develop their own career pathways and make the most of their opportunities.
We are also a forward looking team and are committed to research and service development.
Celebrating 40 years of pain services
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating an incredible 40 years of pain services with a day of celebratory and informative events.
Pain services have now been in existence for 40 years across both Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley District Hospital and see up to 2000 new patients annually. As the regional pain unit, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals deliver more consultant-led clinical sessions in pain medicine than any other hospital in the North West region.
The pain service at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals was started by Dr Ray Consiglio who ran the whole service on his own at the time. The first labour epidural was done in the hospitals in 1981. The service and the team have now developed and grown to include eight consultants, three chronic pain nurse specialists, four inpatient nurse specialists, two psychologists, two physiotherapists, two healthcare assistants, and six secretaries making up the team.
The pain service has gone from strength to strength during this time; helping patients to recover from and manage their pain. In 1990, the acute pain service was introduced to provide additional support for patients during their time in the hospitals. Subsequently a pain management programme was developed to help people to live with chronic pain by helping them to learn ways of dealing with the effects of their pain. Multi-disciplinary team clinics were then introduced to provide additional support to patient dealing with pain from an array of specialties including psychologists and physiotherapists. The team are also now getting more and more involved in research and clinical trials to improve outcomes for pain patients in the future.
The pain department has got an active research programme. There are number of academic and industry sponsored studies going on currently. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals are the first in Lancashire to participate in a phase 1, industry sponsored, lower back pain study. The hospitals have also been selected as the only site in the UK to start a first in human (FIH) study into lower back pain.
Additionally, in 2014, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals was registered as a provisional endometriosis centre by the British Society for Gynaecology (BSGE), providing multidisciplinary pain management for patients with endometriosis, which can affect areas such as the ovaries and fallopian tube, and can be a difficult condition to live with.
In 2018, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals also became one of the first hospitals to start a Rapid Access Pain Service (RAPS) to prevent hospital admissions of acute on chronic pain patients presenting to the emergency departments, and making sure they received the best treatment and care for them.
The pain team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals are continuously striving to establish excellent working relationships with partners in the community, surrounding hospitals and the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). The team has also got excellent links with the GPs in and around Preston and Chorley.
To celebrate these achievements and how much the pain service has developed and grown over the past 40 years, a celebratory day will be held at Preston Hospital. The celebratory day will take place on Friday 7th June with staff from the pain department and the executive team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, and professionals from across the pain industry in attendance. The day will include a range of presentations on the evolution of pain services over the last 40 years, the use of apps and digital technology in pain management, and the future of pain medicine. This will culminate in a celebratory dinner for all of the staff who have made the pain service what it is today at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.