Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's
Appointments, Referrals, Fees
How do I make an appointment with you at your pain management clinic?
You will usually require a referral from either your GP or another medical professional. I do take referrals from other healthcare professional as well such as Psychologists and Physiotherapists.
I am happy to accept self referrals but only if you are registered with a GP. I will communicate with your GP following any consultation.
Who should I contact?
The easiest way to make an appointment with me is through my Private Practice Manager at PHF Services. You may contact any of the Private Hospitals that I am registered at and they will direct you to PHF Services. Please just state which hospital you would like to have your consultation at.
Can I claim from my health insurance?
Yes by all means. I am registered with all the major Healthcare Insurance companies in the UK. It is best to keep them informed prior to any consultation. They may give you a Pre authorisation number or require you to fill in a form. A quick phone call will clarify the situation.
Are the Pain Procedures dangerous?
I discuss this in every consultation and the answer is Yes! They carry some potentially very serious complications. They have been described by the President of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians as being "Minimally invasive but maximally dangerous"
Complications include, nerve damage, spinal cord damage including paraplegia and quadriplegia for neck procedures, injection of drugs into blood vessels can lead to convulsions and cardiovascular collapse and even death.
Pain management should only be carried out by doctors who have had the proper training in these procedures.
Are you experienced at all Pain interventions?
The range of the procedures I perform is fairly comprehensive but I am not experienced in all of the types of interventions now being carried out in Pain Medicine. I will give you a detailed account of my experience with regard to any intervention I may recommend to you. If it is not a procedure that I perform regularly then I will find the best person to carry it out for you.
You may be sure that I will continue to supervise your ongoing care if you so wish.
How will you assess my response to the Pain Procedure?
I follow all my patients by telephone consultation at 2 weeks and regularly thereafter by either further telephone consultations or a face to face interview as needed. I try to do most things by phone and I do not charge for the follow up phone consultation service.
Prescribing Pain Drugs
What is your prescribing Policy of Pain Medications?
I generally liaise very closely with your GP. The types of drugs I prescribe to provide relief from pain are often needed over long period of time and it is in your best interest that your GP is actively involved. I supervise the dosages of all drugs by telephone consultation and keep your GP informed by letter after each discussion. I do not charge for the follow up telephone consultation service.
Pain Psychology Questions
Do you recommend Pain Psychology to everyone?
I certainly spend time explaining Pain Psychology to most of my patients. It is not suitable for everyone. It is a way of enhancing pain management by helping you to cope with your pain and improving your overall well being.
Unfortunately no matter how hard I try, some patients feel that if they agree to Pain Psychology then they are admitting that the pain is "all in their head". Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is important to see the value of Pain Psychology strategies in context before it is possible to benefit from it.
Does Pain Psychology carry any risks?
Cognitive- Behavioural Therapy has virtually no risks.
You say that the aim of your clinic is to put patients in control of your their pain, could you say a bit more about what you mean?
This is ultimately about educating patients in all aspects of modern pain medicine, as part of a strategy to provide maximum possible relief from pain.
It's about understanding how the medications and interventions can be applied to help reduce the intensity of the pain.
It's important that patient's learn to acknowledge and accept the psychological impact that pain may be having on them. There are techniques available to help control the emotional response to pain and not to let it become overwhelming.
It's a process and with proper ongoing guidance, I hope that it will be possible to find a life that is not dominated by pain but a life that can still be fulfilling.