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Persistent Pain Management

Clinical Excellence Division

The Statewide Persistent Pain Management Clinical Network (SPPMCN) was established in March 2017 in response to a request by clinicians working within persistent pain services across Queensland to improve patient access to evidence based multidisciplinary care.

The network is led by a multidisciplinary steering committee with geographical and service delivery representation including both public and private pain specialists in adult, adolescent and paediatric pain management, allied health professionals including psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, senior clinical nurse pain specialists and a consumer with lived experience.

The SPPMCN Steering Committee is currently meeting every month and is co-chaired by Dr Tania Morris, Director, Sunshine Coast Persistent Pain Management Service, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (HHS) and Dr Julia Fleming, Staff Specialist, Pain Medicine at Professor Tess Cramond Multidisciplinary Pain Centre, Metro North HHS.

Communication, collaboration and consensus underpin all decisions made by the steering committee on behalf of the network.

Three SPPMCN working groups progress specific priorities under the leadership of the steering committee:

  • Waiting List Innovation working group
  • Discharge Innovation working group
  • Paediatric Persistent Pain Services Support working group

Principal Functions

  • Provide advice in relation to the planning and development of persistent pain management services in Queensland
  • Develop, review and endorse for state use, evidence based standards of care, clinical policy, guidelines and pathways that support the changing needs of the population and foster safety and innovation in persistent pain management services
  • Review variation in clinical outcomes and develop strategies to achieve improvement
  • Review and support compliance with clinical practice standards produced by the Commonwealth and State governments
  • Review the value of new clinical interventions and technologies and advise on their most appropriate use
  • Monitor the adequacy of workforce supply, address the imbalance between service capacity and demand, and develop new workforce strategies
  • Act in an advisory capacity to Queensland Health (QH) business units, HHSs and Statewide clinical networks as required
  • Develop, promote and integrate clinical research activities and teaching opportunities throughout Queensland Health persistent pain management services
  • Support integrated persistent pain management information systems throughout Queensland
  • Strategically partner with HHSs and the DoH whilst retaining autonomy and being critically led and directed
  • Provide targeted input that helps clinicians 'do' and therefore the system to 'perform'
  • Complement the broader perspective brought by the Queensland Clinical Senate
  • Commit to clinician engagement
  • Strategically align with the Clinical Excellence Division's strategic plan

Priorities for 2017-2018

  • Establish a Clinical Services Capability Framework (CSCF) to indicate what clinical services are essential for management of persistent pain throughout QH facilities; establish accountability and benchmarking via CSCF and the Electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (ePPOIC)
  • Provide a SPPMCN internet site with updated data from persistent pain website and links to key resources: including but not limited to persistent pain management services sites; GP information; educational resources; pain program resources; primary care and community resources
  • Wait List (WL) innovations to (1) reduce wait times; (2) provide information and strategies for patient/GP while on WL; (3) WL revues; and (4) alternate services available
  • Discharge innovations: Improve transition to discharge into the community
  • Paediatric service innovations: Supporting the development and extension to regional sites
  • Improve access to care for special groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait and Non-English Speaking Background (ATS NESB) patients, the elderly and patients from remote and rural areas
  • Support innovations in services and patient care including use of novel and existing technology
  • Establish key collaborations with QH clinicians and services managing severe pain: i.e. acute pain; subacute pain; cancer services; emergency department; alcohol and other drug services; Queensland medicine regulators; non-government agencies and consumer advocates to improve understanding of persistent pain and medication safety issues


The annual forum was held on 15 March 2017. View the Statewide Persistent Pain Management forum report - March 2017 (PDF 692 kB) for further details.

Last updated: 19 June 2017