What will happen at the clinic?
Before you are seen by the clinical team, a member of the pain control service staff will go through some questionnaires with you and your child. We use your and your child’s answers to help us understand your child’s needs and to improve our service. We will ask you to complete the same questionnaires again on subsequent visits to the chronic pain clinic; this will help us to monitor your child’s progress.
After this, you will see the clinical team. The aim of this first appointment is for the team to assess your child and their pain, with a view to producing a pain management plan. You will be asked lots of questions about how the pain developed, any previous investigations and tests and what medicines your child currently takes and has taken in the past. You will also be asked about the effects of the pain on everyday life at school/college and at home.
Who will be in the room?
We have a ‘multi-disciplinary’ approach to managing your child’s pain. This means that a number of different health professionals may be present to meet your child during your first visit. It will be decided at this meeting which of these health professionals need to be involved in your child’s on-going pain management care. You can expect up to six people to be in the room during the first appointment: this will include a doctor, a pain nurse specialist, a psychologist, a pharmacist, a physiotherapist and occasionally another observer who is learning how to care for children with chronic pain. Some children may find it difficult to tell us about their pain in front of a large group of adults – if you let us know in advance we can reduce the number of people present.
After seeing the clinical team, there will be a short break for the team to discuss your child’s pain. The team will then talk to you and your child about their pain and possible options for reducing it and/or the ways of coping with pain for the future. Treatment options may include physiotherapy, learning coping strategies, therapies and occasionally medication. This will form the basis of an initial pain management plan, to be carried out at home. This may include outpatient appointments at Great Ormond Street Hospital or in your local area.
Once we have discussed our suggested pain management plan with you, you will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Will there be any follow-up?
We will arrange follow-up appointments to monitor your child’s progress and alter the pain management plan if needed. This may be a combination of outpatient appointments at Great Ormond Street Hospital or follow-ups over the telephone. Your child will remain under the care of the local paediatrician (specialist children’s doctor) or general practitioner (GP) (family doctor) for ongoing care. However, you will be allocated a named nurse who is available on the telephone for advice and support and who may ring you occasionally to see how your child is doing.
If you have any questions about what will happen at the clinic, please call the pain control service nurse specialists on 020 7405 9200 extension 5940. Please leave a message if no one is available to take your call and we will respond as soon as possible.
For other enquiries regarding your appointment (such as re-arranging the time), please call the Pain Team Secretary, on 0207 7405 9200 extension 6191.
You will have the opportunity to complete a quick and anonymous satisfaction survey after your appointment. You can also help us to identify what we do well and where we can do better by sharing your feedback. All your views will be confidential.