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Pain medicine

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This page is about the team who specialise in patients who suffer from a lot of pain.

It has information about:

  • Our services
  • The staff involved
  • How to contact us

Who we are

We are committed to provide an open, safe, relaxed atmosphere to work with our patients, their loved ones, and other specialists in order to provide individualised care to improve their quality of life with pain.

We specialise in the assessment, investigation and management of pain in patients with acute, chronic and cancer pain. We work as multidisciplinary team consisting of consultants in Pain Medicine, clinical nurse specialists, specialist pain physiotherapists, and a clinical psychologist.

We are proud to be part of a university teaching hospital so students from all disciplines and clinical fellows in pain medicine are often part of our team providing care.

Our service delivers pain management care as part of an outpatient service at Broadgreen Hospital.

We also provide an inpatient pain service within The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospital for those admitted. Across the wider Trust, we provide consultation, training and supervision to our colleagues who support patients with pain.


What is acute and chronic pain?

  • Pain is the term used to describe an unpleasant sensation in the body.

  • Pain that has been felt for less than 3 months, for example after injury or operation is called ‘acute pain’. This pain usually recovers over time.

  • Pain that lasts longer than 3 months is known as ‘chronic pain’. Pain can occur following an injury, operation or disease which lasts beyond the expected healing time of 3 months. For some people, chronic pain can develop despite no pathology showing up in examinations or investigations. Chronic pain can be very difficult to manage.

  • Pain management services, such as ours, aim to help patients understand their pain and identify ways that their quality of life can be improved. This may involve the use specialist techniques and medicines to ease pain. Also, we teach strategies to help people manage and live well with their pain condition.

As well as the core Pain Medicine clinics, run by doctors, nurses and other members of the team, there are specialised services that we offer. These include:

We will routinely review patients admitted to The Royal and Broadgreen to provide specialist pain management.

This includes assessment of acute and chronic pain and specialist pain management recommendations and techniques.

We draw on multidisciplinary input including pain management clinical psychology. We provide consultation and training to ward staff including nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy across specialisms.

We also provide placement time for student nurses as part of a rotation.

Members of our multidisciplinary team assess various chronic pain conditions, make recommendations and provide a range of approaches to help improve quality of life living with pain.

The majority of patients with persistent pain will require advice and guidance on physical activity or exercise. Physiotherapists can help develop the skills needed to manage your condition, increase activity levels and improve your quality of life.

We will assess you and work with you to agree a treatment plan. We will provide detailed, individually tailored exercise programs to suit your needs looking at movement and posture and finding ways to support you in achieving your goals.

You may be referred to us by any member of the pain multidisciplinary team at any time during your visits. Alternatively, we may see you prior and after an intervention (eg. injections or blocks), should this be required. We offer appointments on a one to one basis and in joint clinics with the specialist pain psychologist. Additionally, we can signpost you to appropriate local community centres to continue your exercise and physical activities as well as useful online resources to explore at home. 

We offer individualised online exercise programmes via a system called Physitrack which you can access at home and allows us to monitor and progress your programme

Living with a long-term health condition, such as chronic pain, can be very difficult for people to cope with. It can be hard to know what to do, and you may feel low in mood or worried about what is going to happen to you in the future.

The clinical psychology service within the pain clinic can allow you to talk through some of those worries or difficult feelings, and can help you to find ways of managing the pain so that you can live your life in the way that you would like to, in spite of the pain.

Clinical psychologists are trained in working with people in a variety of ways, and can help you to understand the impact that your chronic pain has on you, including on your mental health. You will be asked to fill in some questionnaires when you attend your first appointment, so please bring along your reading glasses if you need them. At your first appointment, you will decide with the clinical psychologist whether you would like to attend further sessions and if so, how many and for how long.

We have a dedicated theatre suite next to the pain medicine outpatient department where interventional pain management procedures are performed.

If you have a planned procedure, this can happen in either a morning or an afternoon session. There will be other patients, there will be a period waiting after you arrive. To ensure your safety there will also be a period of monitoring following the procedure in dedicated recovery areas in the pain medicine department.

It is important that you tell us if you have any new health issues or any new medications have been started since your last appointment with our team.  It is also vital we know if you are taking any blood thinning medicines such as warfarin, clopidogrel, ticagrelor, prasugrel, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, or fondaparinux.

You cannot drive home yourself from hospital after having a pain procedure, so please arrange for somebody to collect you.

Coping College is a group Pain Education Programme for people who would like more information on how to manage their pain. It has input from consultants in Pain Medicine, clinical psychologists, and physiotherapists.

On the programme, we discuss a variety of things such as medication management, exercise, and thoughts and feelings about pain, as well as strategies to manage the things that people find most difficult about living with chronic pain.

In order to support our patients to manage long term back pain, we offer a five half-day Back Pain Programme that provides education, peer support and strategies in line with the most up to date research.

Many of our patients who have completed this programme have reported an improvement in quality of life living with back pain.

We run an outpatient clinic specialised in the use of a TENS machine in the management of pain. You can only be referred to this specialised clinic by a health professional working in this pain medicine department.

During the outpatient TENS clinic appointment, a nurse specialist will show you how to use the TENS machine, where to place it and what settings to use. If appropriate, we can loan you a TENS machine for you to try at home. You will need to return this loaned machine back to us at your follow-up clinic appointment. TENS machines are available to buy from a number of stores and online.

We offer an outpatient clinic specialising in the use of acupuncture in the management of chronic pain. You can only be referred to this specialised clinic by a health professional working in this pain medicine department.

We work with the Palliative Care team to manage pain associated with cancer, in both the inpatient and hospice setting.

We provide an outpatient clinic services at the Marie Curie Hospice, Woolton and St John Hospice, Wirral. 

This is a national multidisciplinary service run collaboratively by Pain Medicine Teams from the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals, along with cardiology from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

We specialise in helping patients who have persistent angina and chest pain, despite having had treatment with medication, stents, and coronary artery bypass surgery.

We work with our colleagues in the Ear, Nose and Throat department to deliver a service helping people manage facial pain.

We work with the National Alkaptonuria Centre at Broadgreen Hospital to deliver a specialised service to help patients manage pain associated with Alkaptonuria.

We work closely with the pancreatic surgical team to deliver a specialised clinic for managing pain associated with pancreatic disorders, such as chronic pancreatitis.

We work closely with the Therapies Department, and Orthopaedics and Trauma to deliver a service to help patients manage the symptoms in the early stages of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

We also work with colleagues at the Walton Centre for the management of established Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

We deliver a specialist service to help manage pain resistant to conventional treatments.

We run an outpatient clinic specialised in the use of hypnotherapy and relaxation in the management of pain.

Referrals for our Inpatient Service

During an admission, your medical or surgical team can refer to our pain service.


How to be referred to our Outpatient Service

If you have had pain for longer than 3 months, please discuss options with you GP. Your GP will be able to offer you some initial support and resources.

If you and your GP feel that you need specialist pain management, they can refer you to you to our service. We have links with other services within the Trust who may also make this referral for you as part of your treatment plan.


Your Outpatient Clinic appointment


What happens at your clinic appointment?

Your first clinic appointment in our department will involve meeting a member of our clinical team to assist with the assessment of you pain.

After your initial assessment, we will discuss options with you. For some people, we may make recommendations that can be carried out by your GP or another service closer to home. We may also refer you to our other pain services who will also help support you. For some of our patients, we may suggest a follow up appointment to review your progress.

If after your assessment, input from another speciality team is required, we can refer you.

What should you bring?

Please bring a list of all your medications. Generic appointment letters as used across departments may request a urine sample however this is not required for the Pain Medicine Department.

Where will your appointment take place?

***COVID-19 Update****: At present, all our outpatient consultations are carried out over the telephone or virtual software unless there is clinical reason for a face to face. This is to minimise the amount of patients coming into hospital.

Please read your appointment letter carefully as this will indicate if your appointment is by telephone or face to face.

Our outpatient clinic is located:

Pain Medicine Department

Alexandra Wing

Broadgreen Hospital

Thomas Drive, Liverpool

L14 3LB

Reception for the Pain Medicine Department is located on the ground floor of The Alexandra Wing, next to the ENT and Breast Screening.

Cancellation and Unattended Appointments Policy

Please be aware that we operate a strict discharge policy for unattended or regularly cancelled appointments. This enables us to manage our waiting times more effectively.

If you need to cancel your appointment, please call 0151 706 5555 as soon as possible to we can offer that appointment to another patient.

Our pain secretaries can be contacted on 0151 706 3382 or 0151 706 3190.


Getting the most from your appointments

Our team holds a biopsychosocial understanding of pain as we know that pain interacts with many elements of your life. This means that we may make recommendations regarding lifestyle that could help improve your pain management.

In our experience and in the research evidence, we know that helpful pain management involves multiple approaches to help you both physical and mentally.

Lifestyle changes can be difficult and often require a degree of motivation and setting realistic goals. Our onward services such as physiotherapy, psychology and group programmes particularly focus on these aspects and therefore require commitment and home practice.


The Team

Our Pain Medicine Team is led by Dr Hoo Kee Tsang.

Dr Tsang is a Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, as well as the Clinical Lead for Pain Medicine at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals. Plus he is the Royal College of Anaesthetists Regional Advisor for Pain Medicine – Mersey Region.


Contact Us

Pain Medicine department

Alexander Wing
Broadgreen Hospital
Thomas Drive, Liverpool
L14 3LB

Telephone the Pain Secretaries on 0151 706 3190 or 0151 706 3382.


Where we are

Both the outpatient clinics and injection/block lists take place in the Alexandra Wing at Broadgreen Hospital.

Reception for the Pain Medicine Department is located on the ground floor of The Alexandra Wing, next to the ENT and Breast Screening.


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