Greenwich hub for new spinal injury program

Professor Philip Siddall from HammondCare's Pain Management Service is part of a team awarded a grant to explore the development of a state-wide model of care for people with pain following spinal cord injuries.

The grant is funded by the Lifetime Care and Support Authority which is the main NSW government affiliated agency responsible for the care of people with trauma following motor vehicle accidents.

The project has already identified Greenwich Hospital as the state 'hub' for delivering the service. It involves standard face-to-face assessment and treatment as well as exploring innovative telehealth options which are highly suited to the needs of people from rural and remote areas with a spinal cord injury.

First patient joins pilot

Wayne Churchill from Griffith was the person to attend the Pain Management Service as part of a pilot to develop and fine-tune the model.

Mr Churchill underwent a multidisciplinary assessment with pain medicine specialist Prof Siddall, physiotherapist Rebecca McCabe and clinical psychologist Dr Kathryn Nicholson Perry who has completed a PhD in this field and who will be joining the pain team to take part in this service.

The team then spent six hours with him over the next day to provide education about pain and to help develop pain management skills tailored to his situation. He will be then be followed up with telehealth video conferencing during the next 12 months to help put these skills into practice.

'I really have gained so much'

Prof Siddall said the team was very pleased with the visit and Wayne provided this feedback through email to Lyndall Katte, the project coordinator on the team.

'Hi Lyndall, once again a huge thanks for everything you did to help make my stay in Sydney so useful and informative. I am practicing all of those exercises that you and Rebecca helped me with and thank God for the video that fills in the gaps.

'Kathryn’s help with the relaxation method was just so good and I am working on it a lot of the time to try and put away the stressful things during the day. And Phillip’s straight-forward explanation of how a part of the brain can work and how it can also be trained to modify those nerve signals - I think about this a lot of the time.

'I really have gained so much out of those few days… I cannot thank the fantastic team enough, except to give it my best.' Wayne Churchill.

Further innovation - new pain website

Meanwhile Prof Siddall and the pain clinic have also been involved in the release of the Agency for clinical Innovation's new pain management website. Prof Siddall features in some of the website's videos including the 'Introduction to Pain' while clients of the service also feature in some of the videos.