Welcome to Pain Services

You will have been referred to our service by your GP, consultant or specialist physiotherapist.

We are a team of specialist doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses who help patients across Cornwall manage long-term pain.

As part of our service we are developing this website as a resource for our patients and as well as clinicians. Please feel free to look around, click on the links and use our website.

Please also give us feedback so that we can continue to develop this resource.

Meet the Team

Our team is led by five consultants, together with clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists as well as clinical nurse specialists, who all share a special interest in long-term pain, and a GP trainee who holds an outpatient clinic as part of their training.

We are supported by a dedicated administration team who help with the day-to-day running of the department, as well as a GP trainee who holds an outpatient clinic as part of her training. We also work closely with the Palliative Care team to support terminally ill patients both in the hospice and the community. Please click on the links below to find out more about members of our team.

Consultants

All of our consultants are pain medicine specialists, which means they have undertaken specific training in pain medicine and are fellows of the faculty of pain medicine. They perform medical assessments, request further tests if required and provide medication advice, injection treatments, intrathecal pump management and a spinal cord stimulation service. They work alongside other members of the team to deliver care tailored to each patient.

Dr Keith Mitchell

Dr Keith Mitchell’s first experience of Pain Management was as an anaesthetic trainee in Treliske Hospital in 1995. He returned to RCHT as a Consultant in 2003. He has a special interest in everything. Recent projects include acute pain, rational pain prescribing, education and ultrasound-guided interventions. Keith lives in Truro with his wife, and his 2 girls when they are not at university. He enjoys walking, racket sports and rock climbing.

Dr Rob Searle

Dr Rob Searle joined the pain team as a Consultant in 2010. As well as his clinical work, Rob also helps develop professional standards for the Faculty of Pain Medicine, works as an advisor to the DVLA and oversees education for the Peninsula School of Anaesthesia.

Dr Juan Graterol

Dr Juan Graterol completed his anaesthetic and pain training in Bristol and joined the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in 2013. He has special interest in patient reported outcome measures, implanted devices and interventional pain procedures (spinal cord stimulators and intrathecal pumps). Educationally, Dr Graterol is an Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor.

Dr Kerry Elliott

Dr Kerry Elliott did her undergraduate studies at Cambridge University obtaining a degree in anatomy. She went on to complete her clinical studies at Royal Free and University College London medical school before embarking on anaesthetic training in London. She completed her Advanced pain training fellowship at Royal Free Hospitals NHS trust. She has Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP), is a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA) and has been awarded Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FFPMRCA). She is the local Faculty Tutor for pain training.

Dr Alexander Doyle

Dr Alexander Doyle qualified from Barts and the London School of Medicine, London UK with Distinction and Prizes in Medical Science and Pharmacology. As part of his training, he spent 4 years in the USA undertaking a Research Doctorate in Molecular Biology and a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He completed his Advanced Pain Training Fellowship at Kings College Hospital, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA) and the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FFPMRCA).

Clinical Psychologists

We have a team of three clinical psychologists who have undertaken additional training and specialise in understanding and treating the emotional and psychological consequences of living with long-term pain.

They are able to offer individual appointments, work in combined clinics with other specialists and also help run our pain management service.

Physiotherapists & Occupational Therapists

Physiotherapy

Our specialist pain management physiotherapist Beth will work with you towards your physical goals; enhancing your understanding of pain and increasing your confidence so that you feel empowered to increase your activity levels and overall fitness gradually and sustainably. She also helps run our pain management service.

Occupational Therapy

Our specialist pain management occupational therapist Sarah will help you explore ways of maintaining or recovering your ability to do the things that are important to you by developing strategies to achieve this which are manageable and achievable. This includes thinking about the physical, emotional and social aspects of living with persistent pain. She also helps run our pain management service.

Clinical Nurse Specialists

We have a team of clinical nurse specialists who help run our inpatient and outpatient pain services. They give advice to patients about managing complex pain, offer teaching and training to other hospital departments as well as run specialist nurse-led clinics for capsaicin 8% patch application, acupuncture, medication review, pain intervention review and support and education before and after neuromodulation procedures.

Support Staff

All of our clinicians are ably supported by our team of administrative staff and support workers. We are grateful for their critical contribution, including booking follow up clinic appointments for our doctor, nurse and pain management services as well as arranging our injection procedure lists. To contact our administrative team please call 01872 253409 between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these times please leave a message on our answer machine and we will call you back the next working day.

Getting to your appointment

The outpatient pain service is based at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske, but we also see and treat patients at Penrice, St Michaels and West Cornwall Hospitals. We provide telephone, video and face to face consultations. Please click on the boxes below to find out more about your appointment.

Telephone consultations

Telephone consultations: If we have arranged a telephone consultation for you, we will ring you as near as possible to the time stated on your appointment letter. Please do not attend the hospital. To enable this service to run efficiently, please ensure that we have your correct daytime telephone number and that you are able to receive calls from an unknown telephone number. If the time or date of your appointment is not convenient, please contact us on 01872 252792 to make alternative arrangements. If you do not answer your phone or call to rearrange your appointment, you will be removed from our waiting list and discharged from our service.

Video consultations

If we have arranged a video consultation for you, you do not need to come to the hospital for this appointment – it will be conducted by video link. On the date stated on your appointment letter, please access to the video link 10 minutes prior to your appointment by:

  1. Go to https://nhs.vc/rcht-pain-service
  2. Press “Start Video Call”

Or

  1. Go to the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust website at https://www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk
  2. Scroll down the page and click on the “I have a video consultation appointment” green box
  3. Scroll down the page and select the “Pain Service” waiting area and press “Start Video Call”

If the time or date of your appointment is not convenient, please contact us on 01872 252792 to make alternative arrangements. If you do not attend your video consultation or call to rearrange your appointment, you will be removed from our waiting list and discharged from our service.

Face to face appointments

Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske): If we have arranged an appointment for you at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske), please come either to the reception desk in the Tower block, or if this is unavailable please report directly to the pain clinic, at the time stated on your appointment letter. If the time or date of your appointment is not convenient, please contact us on 01872 252792 to make alternative arrangements. Please bring details of any tablets, medicines or inhalers that you are taking regularly with you. If you do not attend your consultation or call to rearrange your appointment, you will be removed from our waiting list and discharged from our service.

St Austell Community Hospital (Penrice): If we have arranged an appointment for you at the St Austell Community Hospital (Penrice), please come to the reception desk in the Outpatient department at the time stated on your appointment letter. If the time or date of your appointment is not convenient, please contact us on 01872 252792 to make alternative arrangements. Please bring details of any tablets, medicines or inhalers that you are taking regularly with you. If you do not attend your consultation or call to rearrange your appointment, you will be removed from our waiting list and discharged from our service.

Pain relief procedures

Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske): If we have arranged an appointment for you at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske), your procedure will be performed in the X ray department, 1st floor, Tower block. Please only arrive at the time and date stated in your appointment letter and report to the reception desk. If this time or date is not convenient, please contact us on 01872 252792 to make alternative arrangements. If you do not attend your appointment or call to rearrange your appointment, you will be removed from our waiting list and discharged from our service. Before you leave home please have a bath or shower and leave any valuables and large sums of money at home. It is very important that you do not wear make-up, nail varnish, jewellery or contact lenses. Please bring with you:

  • Any tablets, medicines or inhalers that you are taking regularly
  • Your completed health questionnaire
  • The name and telephone number of a relative or friend who will drive you home after your appointment

West Cornwall Hospital (Penzance): If we have arranged an appointment for you at the West Cornwall Hospital (Penzance), your procedure will be performed in the Penlee Unit. Please only arrive at the time and date stated in your appointment letter and report to the reception desk. If this time or date is not convenient, please contact us on 01872 252792 to make alternative arrangements. If you do not attend your appointment or call to rearrange your appointment, you will be removed from our waiting list and discharged from our service. Before you leave home please have a bath or shower and leave any valuables and large sums of money at home. It is very important that you do not wear make-up, nail varnish, jewellery or contact lenses. Please bring with you:

  • Any tablets, medicines or inhalers that you are taking regularly
  • Your completed health questionnaire
  • The name and telephone number of a relative or friend who will drive you home after your appointment

What to expect

Your GP, consultant or physiotherapist will write an electronic referral letter to the outpatient pain service and this will be checked by one of our consultants or a member of the pain management team. After this you will receive an appointment letter with instructions about what time and where you should attend.

In an attempt to reduce footfall in the hospital and so allow for social distancing the hospital has recently introduced a mobile telephone app called “I’ve arrived”.
You will receive an “I’ve Arrived” notification SMS 60 minutes prior to your appointment. Once you are on the hospital site please click on the link in the SMS to notify our clinic nurse that you are here. Once we are ready for you, we will send you another SMS inviting you to attend clinic.

Please note: If this is your first appointment and the time or date of your appointment is not convenient, please contact the booking office on 01872 253409 to make alternative arrangements.
If this a follow up appointment and the time or date of your appointment is not convenient, please contact the pain clinic on 01872 252792 to make alternative arrangements.

If you do not attend your appointment or call to rearrange your appointment, you will be removed from our waiting list and discharged from our service.

What we can offer

Outpatient Appointments

We offer telephone, video and face-to-face appointments with one of our consultants, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists or clinical nurse specialists. On occasion, you may be invited to attend a combined appointment where more than one specialist is present. For example, an appointment where both a consultant and clinical psychologist are present. Patients with cancer pain may be booked for an appointment at our urgent access clinic, which is attended by both a pain consultant and palliative care consultant.

Injection Treatments

We offer targeted injections treatments to help identify where your pain is coming from as well as treat the cause of painful symptoms. See our patient information leaflets for specific procedures here.

Pain Management Program

Our clinical psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists run a Pain Management Service.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

We offer an implanted spinal cord stimulation service. For more information about this service click here. [awaiting link]

Nurse-led Acupuncture Service

We offer a nurse-led western medical acupuncture service. It consists of an initial trial of three 30 minute acupuncture sessions, which can then be extended up to a total of eight acupuncture sessions if the treatment is beneficial. The service is based at Treliske and West Cornwall Hospitals. Appointments are offered Wednesday-Friday in either a morning or afternoon clinic. Our acupuncture service only accepts internal referrals from clinicians in the outpatient pain service.

Spinal Multidisciplinary Team Meetings

We hold a monthly spinal multidisciplinary team meeting, attended by at least one consultant spinal surgeon, pain consultant and physiotherapist. Often more than one person from each discipline is present. At this appointment, your symptoms, clinical examination findings and any imaging that you have undergone will be reviewed and discussed among the group. After considering all of the treatment options available such as medication changes, injection treatments, physiotherapy, psychological therapy and surgery; the multidisciplinary team will formulate a management plan. You will then receive a letter informing you that you case has been discussed and what has been recommended.
For assistance please call our admin team on: 01872 252792

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