Bury Pain Psychological Medicine Service


Bury Pain Psychological Medicine Service

After your assessment you may be referred to the Pain Psychological Medicine team. This team is made up of clinicians with expertise and specialist knowledge in the complex interaction between pain and emotional distress.

People sometimes worry that being referred to the Pain Psychological Medicine team means we think the pain is ‘all in their head’. This is incorrect and we understand that the pain you experience is very real. What pain science has shown is that for all of us our experience of pain is affected by many different factors including our memories, relationships, sleep, mood and anxiety. In fact pain itself is defined as an ‘unpleasant sensory and emotional experience’ so it very common that some fear or distress will be present if we are in pain. Due to this, effective management of persistent pain requires a ‘multi-disciplinary’ approach which incorporates psychological interventions. The Pain Psychological Medicine team work with people who may be experiencing significant distress as a result of their pain, or who have pre-existing mental health difficulties which interact with the pain.

What will happen if I am referred to this service?

If you are referred to this team you may be invited in for a further assessment. We appreciate that it may be frustrating to have to attend multiple assessments; however the Pain Psychological Medicine team may need to gather different kinds of information and wish to understand more fully the impact of your pain on your day-to-day life. The assessment process usually takes between 1-4 sessions. Following an assessment, you may be offered a time-limited intervention which will be based upon your needs and agreed with you and the clinician you will be working with.

Who will I see?

The Pain Psychological Medicine service is made up of a specialist liaison nurse, two clinical psychologists, and a consultant liaison psychiatrist. The service also offers placements to trainee clinical psychologists and occasionally other students.

Specialist Liaison Nurse

The specialist liaison nurse works at the interface between physical and psychological care. They will look to assess your psychological needs and aim to provide holistic guidance in relation to pain, provide short term interventions on mood, sleep, diet and exercise and signpost to relevant services which could help manage your mood alongside your pain experience. You may spend some time with the specialist liaison nurse to prepare you for therapy interventions with a clinical psychologist, prior to engaging with the consultant liaison psychiatrist or before being referred to another service.

Clinical Psychologists

A clinical psychologist is a doctor of clinical psychology, whose role is to help people in distress. Clinical psychologists draw upon psychological theory and evidence-based approaches to work with you to make sense of the problem and will think with you about how your pain impacts upon your emotional wellbeing and vice versa. The beauty of clinical psychology is that psychologists are trained to work from a number of therapy models which means your treatment plan will be tailored to your individual needs. The treatment offered may include group or 1-1 psychological therapy and the length of time it lasts will be agreed between you and your psychologist.  

Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist

A consultant liaison psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has qualified in medicine and then undertaken training in the medical speciality of psychiatry before being recognised as a specialist. Liaison psychiatry is the branch of psychiatry that works at the interface between physical and psychological care. The liaison psychiatrist will approach your care holistically, drawing upon knowledge of medicines, physical health conditions, mental health conditions and psychological approaches to advise on your treatment. They will work closely with all other members of the Bury Pain Psychological Medicine team, and the wider Integrated Pain Service. They may also work closely with your GP or other healthcare providers.

The Team

Emma Evans, Medical Secretary

Dr Louise Sell, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist

Matthew Hall, Specialist Liaison Nurse

Dr Charlotte Ingham, Clinical Psychologist

Dr Claire McDonald, Clinical Psychologist

Bury Pain Psychological Medicine Service Office: 0161 253 6675

If you feel you might benefit from seeing someone from the Pain Psychological Medicine team speak to your pain practitioner or your GP.