Pain control

Our pain team offers comprehensive pain treatment for all types of pain including cancer related pain, pain from tumours, or pain associated with the treatment of cancer.

Working closely with colleagues from oncology, surgery, psychological medicine, physiotherapy, and symptom control, the team identifies pain problems and provides a comprehensive support package for treatment.

Their overall aim is to reduce the burden of pain for patients with cancer by formally assessing each patient in detail and constructing the best possible pain control plan, in association with the entire pain multidisciplinary team.

Types of pain that are treated

Tumour-related pain; pain associated with soft tissue tumours (e.g. sarcomas), bone disease (e.g. metastatic disease) and tumour pressure on nerves (neuropathic pain).

Persistent pain after cancer surgery; for example, after a major laparotomy, colectomy, breast surgery, or head and neck surgery.

Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy; some chemotherapy drugs can have the side effect of inducing persistent pain in the feet and hands. We specialise in treating this condition.

Other pain conditions; chronic back pain, spinal pain, facial pain.

Pain control treatments

Many different analgesic treatments are used for patients with cancer-related pain.

Each patient is individually assessed to determine the extent and impact of the pain problem, the effect of different analgesic medications, and to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for ongoing management.

After each pain clinic, or encounter with the team, a clinical entry is made on your patient record. The pain control team updates the oncological and surgical teams as well as your GP.

The main treatments for pain control include:

Treatment using pain-killing drugs: We use the World Health Organisation ‘ladder’ of drug treatments, starting with simple analgesics such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory drugs, then progressing to weak opioids, and if necessary, strong opioid medications. Simultaneously, we use other analgesic drugs such as anti- nerve pain drugs.

Nerve blocks: We offer the full range of nerve blocks, including local anaesthetic injections, botulinum toxin injections, neurolytic blocks and in association with other colleagues, access to implantable pumps/ stimulators.

Stimulation-induced analgesia, e.g. acupuncture and TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)

Pain clinic locations

Pain clinics and acupuncture clinics are held on every day of the week. These clinics take place at our sites in Chelsea, Sutton and Cavendish Square.

There is also a specialist clinic for patients with pain associated with sarcoma and chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy.

In-patient pain service

We conduct daily ward rounds in Chelsea and Sutton to patients staying on our wards. This includes patients with pain after surgery and patients with severe short-term pain. In conjunction with the anaesthetic department, we manage epidurals, spinal nerve blocks, and patients using patient-controlled analgesia machines.

Meet the team

Consultants

  • Dr Paul Farquhar-Smith (Clinical Lead)
  • Dr Jacqueline Filshie
  • Dr John Williams
  • Dr Matthew Brown
  • Dr John Schutzer-Weissman
  • Dr Richard Gordon-Williams
  • Dr David Magee

Pain control nurses

  • Liz Barber
  • Shiela Bellen
  • Nina Bentley
  • Roya Hejazi
  • Emily Lavery
  • Katie Anne McGreal

Administration team

  • Hannah Davies-McLeod
  • Marion Sullivan
  • Syeda Sinjini

The pain team is involved in numerous research projects including; the management of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, use of a pain control database, and methods of controlling pain after breast surgery.

In addition, the team host annual national educational conferences on ‘Opioids and Gabapentinoids’, ‘Acute Pain’, and ‘Interventional Treatments for Cancer Pain’, where speakers from all over the world are invited to give talks on the latest advances in pain management.

The team's clinical nurse specialists also host a conference each year on the latest developments in pain control.

Contact us

If you have ongoing problems with pain, ask a member of your healthcare team for a referral to the pain clinic or a specialist who manages pain.

Referrals can be made by e-mail or telephone: