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Chronic Pain Management

Community Chronic Pain Management Program

Chronic Pain imposes a significant burden of disease on the community with 1 in 5 people reporting to experience chronic or persistent pain. Current research supports small group education sessions for people suffering low to moderate distress and interference in quality of life, as an effective tool for management of persisting pain.

Together with the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, we are offering a series of small group chronic pain management programs. Each program consists of:

  • A 3 hour face-to-face education and exercise session once a week that will run over 6 consecutive weeks
  • Small group size – max 10 participants
  • Program facilitators hold follow up sessions with participants at 4 and 12 weeks post program

Qualified Allied Health Professionals deliver the program which aims to:

  • Improve functional capacity through education and exercise
  • Assist participants to identify goals, barriers and boundaries, and to develop crisis management strategies and self-help routines

Participants are provided with the following:

  • Workbook which includes goal charts, exercise charts, suitable exercises and a list of resources including websites for further information relating to self-management of chronic pain
  • Relaxation techniques and assistance with setting up self-help routines at home

Referring GPs will receive a report following the program that details the clients' progress through the program to assist with follow-up and continued cycle of care.

The below table sets out inclusion and exclusion criteria when assessing patient suitability to the program:

Suitable Patients Exclusions
  • Patients identified by their GP as having chronic pain
  • Pain longer than 3 months or beyond the normal healing time of an injury resulting in declining functional and psychological well-being (e.g., musculoskeletal pain, whiplash, neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia)
  • Patients with an Orebro Musculoskeletal score of ≤50
  • Independently mobile
  • Ability and willingness to attend all sessions
  • Low to moderate complexity
  • Patients undergoing active treatment for cancer, infection or fractures
  • Patients on high dose opioids (> 60mgs oral morphine equivalent per day)
  • Worker’s compensation or third party insurance claims

For information on current program dates please contact the appropriate program facilitator.

Facilitator Details

Tina Thew - Main Contact and Lead Facilitator
Lead Facilitators: Rose Cowan and Alexander Shaw
Phone: 0402 496 024 Fax: 4560 5713
Penrith/Blue Mountains
Emma Scanlon - Main Contact
Lead Facilitators: Corrina Aitken and Erin Burns
Phone: 4732 5188 Fax: 4736 2233
Elizabeth Schembri - Main Contact and Lead Facilitator
Lead Facilitator: Chloe Haberecht
Phone: 0438 430 082 Fax: 6332 6686

How to Refer Patients

Patients must be referred directly to the appropriate program facilitator. Please do not fax or email referrals to the Nepean Blue Mountains PHN. Included with the referral form must also be the patients' completed Musculoskeletal Orebro Short Form.

Links to the RTF referral forms that can be uploaded into your clinical software are below. If you require assistance loading this form into your clinical software please contact your General Practice Support Officer.

Referral documentation should be sent to the appropriate program facilitator.

(We are working on updating HealthPathways with the appropriate referral pathway information and will update this page as soon as it becomes available).

SafeScript NSW 

NSW Health are continuing with preparations to implement NSW’s Real Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM) solution, SafeScript NSW and it is expected that all prescribers and pharmacists in NSW will have access by early 2022.

A dedicated website has been launched in the interim to provide GPs and consumers with all the latest information about the SafeScript NSW platform.

The implementation of RTPM in NSW is a milestone achievement, and particularly important for your chronic pain patients prescribed opioids to help manage their pain. SafeScript NSW will give you access to real time information about a range of high-risk medications, including opioid pain relievers to assist with taking a harm minimisation approach and making safer clinical decisions when it comes to prescribing high risk medications.

The website also contains information about HealthPathways, training and education, and the ability to support accredited e-Learning modules, face-to-face and virtual learning sessions will be available soon.

If you have any feedback about the site, send it to