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Paediatric Chronic Pain Service

Children's services (Paediatrics)

The chronic pain service at Addenbrooke’s Hospital is delivered by a team of healthcare professionals and provides assessment, treatment and support for children, young people and their families with recurrent or long-standing (chronic) pain problems.

About us

The regional paediatric chronic pain service was established in 2019 to help children and young people with complex and persistent pain difficulties (pain usually lasting longer than 3 months). This specialist pain clinic uses the biopsychosocial approach to pain management. Children and young people are assessed by our multidisciplinary team and an individual pain management plan is agreed with the child and the family, including promotion of self-guided management strategies.

We aim to:

  • Support you to manage your pain better
  • Support you to feel more in control
  • Support you to improve your level of function
  • Support you to understand how your thoughts, feelings and emotions can impact your pain

Conditions we treat

Our chronic pain clinic provides a multidisciplinary assessment for children and young people who have persistent pain (usually for longer than 3 months) which is unresponsive to standard treatments / analgesics. The only exceptions to this are:

  • Complex Regional Pain syndrome (CRPS) which should be referred promptly to allow early treatment
  • Cancer pain / life limiting condition - e.g. for consideration of an interventional block to support oncology / palliative care (unlikely to need MDT triage/clinic)

Referral information

All investigations aimed at identifying a treatable pathology that may be a source of the pain symptoms must have been completed prior to referral, and the results of these investigations fed back, with opportunity for discussion. Referrals will only be accepted directly from a hospital consultant or community consultant paediatrician who have assessed and managed the pain to a secondary care level.

Information for patients

The initial appointment may last up to 1 hour and 15 minutes so please allow for this when planning your day. Currently due to COVID restrictions we may only allow one parent or primary carer to accompany you at present.

Prior to meeting you at your first appointment the team will provide you with some questionnaires that enable us to assess how pain is effecting you and your everyday life.

During the initial appointment you will meet members of the team who will undertake a comprehensive assessment. The team will aim to gain a clear understanding of your pain and the problems you are facing in everyday life. This may include a physical examination. We recommend you attend wearing shorts and a vest top under your clothing or you can easily change into these so that you feel comfortable and can be examined properly. Once the initial assessment is complete you will be asked to wait in the waiting area for a short time whilst the professionals discuss appropriate management options. You will then be invited back into the clinic room so that we can discuss this together and agree an individual pain management plan.

Pain is a complex problem that is influenced by many factors. Children and young people with recurrent or chronic pain problems are known to benefit from a combination of psychological approaches, physical therapy, occupational therapy and sometimes medication. Meeting the whole team at your first appointment avoids multiple appointments and allows the team to work well together in helping with your pain. It also means that help and advice will be coordinated between members of the team. We recognise that living with chronic pain can be stressful and distressing therefore we aim to help with both the causes and the on-going effects of pain.

Information for children & Families attending the Clinic

Visiting our hospitals | CUH

Meet the Team

Dr Paul Rolfe - Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia

Dr Kate Armon - Consultant in Rheumatology and Pain Medicine

Dr Peter Bale - Consultant in Rheumatology and Pain Medicine

Dr Maisy Baxter - Clinical Psychologist

Meryl Gunstone - Paediatric Pain Clinical Nurse Specialist

Shona Rookes - Paediatric Pain Clinical Nurse Specialist

Brooke Mara - Physiotherapist

Katie McLernon - Physiotherapist

Stella Parry - Occupational Therapist

Adeana Calloway - Administrator