Pain (chronic) for healthcare providers

Key points about chronic pain

  • This page contains information about chronic pain for healthcare providers.
  • Find information on clinical pathways, resources and CPD.
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ACC funded Pain Management Services are available for patients whose chronic pain is attributable to an ACC covered injury.

Referral process

A patient can be referred directly to an ACC Pain Management Services supplier by their healthcare provider/s (eg, GP, physiotherapist, osteopath) if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They have a valid and relevant ACC claim.
  • They have chronic pain (eg, pain lasting 3 months) and/or a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). In the case of CRPS or suspected CRPS, referral to an ACC pain service can occur sooner than 3 months.
  • Interdisciplinary pain management is required. 

Here are links to the ACC referral form(external link) and a list of suppliers across Aotearoa New Zealand.(external link) More information is available on ACC’s website.(external link)

This service provides interdisciplinary pain assessment and treatment and can include assessment by a specialist pain medicine physician at the initial assessment (pain management triage) stage if required.

Note: no prior approval is required from ACC for a pain management triage assessment, including any specialist pain medicine physician assessment completed at that stage.

A full day workshop on managing chronic non-malignant pain was held by PHARMAC in 2018. A range of topics was covered as shown below.

1. Video: PHARMAC seminar: Chronic pain – epidemiology and definitions (17 minutes)

(PHARMAC Seminars, NZ, 2018)

2a. Video: PHARMAC seminar: Chronic pain, Value of pain education and validation – part 1 (33 minutes)

(PHARMAC Seminars, NZ, 2018)

2b. Video: PHARMAC seminar: Chronic pain, Value of pain education and validation – part2 (25 minutes)

(PHARMAC Seminars, NZ, 2018)

View more at PHARMAC seminars(external link) NZ, 2018

Video: Goodfellow Unit MedTalk: Neuroscience – the brain and pain

Dr Diana North, Goodfellow GP Advisor talks with Dr Gwyn Lewis, Neuroscientist about the neuroscience behind pain to enable GPs, nurses and pharmacists to understand and educate patients about pain.

(Goodfellow MedTalks, NZ, 2017)

Video: Chronic pain and conservative pain management

Andrew Imrie – Physiotherapist on chronic pain

(Healthify He Puna Waiora, NZ, 2017)

Video: Chronic Pain Managemwnt Webinar - Bronwyn Thompson 

Bronwyn has worked in the field of pain management for 19 years. Her roles have ranged from occupational therapy, pain psychology, vocational management, and policy development. She has also held positions in safe handling.

(Mobile Health, NZ, 2020)

Video: Management of persistent pain

Dr Matire Harwood from the University of Auckland discusses how common pain relief medication is not very effective for treating persistent pain, and covers non-medicine management pathways.

(Goodfellow Unit, NZ, 2020)

Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

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