Pain Services

Acute Pain

The Acute Pain Service is based within the Ulster Hospital. This nurse-led service consists of Acute Pain Nurse Specialists, Consultant Anaesthetist and Pharmacist input.

The overall aim of the service is to try to ensure that the patients’ pain is managed appropriately and as effectively as possible during their hospital stay. Patients are usually referred to the service by hospital staff, however, patients can ask to be referred for review if they are unsatisfied with their current pain management.

On a daily basis the Pain Nurse Specialists aim to review all post-operative or trauma patients receiving sophisticated analgesic techniques such as epidural, patient controlled analgesia and spinal opioids. The Acute Pain Nurse Specialists will also review any other inpatient that requires complex pain and symptom control advice.

In addition, the service provides advice and support to all staff within the hospital and telephone support to the other hospital sites.

The service provides formal and ad-hoc education to all levels of healthcare staff on pain management.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be defined as continuous, long-term pain which has been present for at least 12 weeks and can be the result of a variety of causes.

The Chronic Pain Service aims to work alongside patients to help them manage their chronic pain on a long-term basis. There are a variety of treatment options available and these will be tailored to each patient’s individual needs.

The Chronic Pain Service is multi-disciplinary and includes pain doctors, specialist nurses, psychology, physiotherapy as well as support from administration and managerial staff.

The Chronic Pain Department is based in the Ulster Hospital where outpatient clinics are held on a daily basis. Nurse-led pain clinics are also held in Newtownards and Bangor Community Hospitals on a weekly basis. A telephone support line service is available 4 days per week for current patients who wish to discuss their treatment.

The Chronic Pain Department offers a range of treatments such as medication, injections, TENS therapy, physiotherapy and a pain management programme.

Woman meeting with doctor holding her head in pain