Persistent Pain Management

The Queensland Persistent Pain Management Clinical Network 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 physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists, senior clinical nurses, GPs, and a consumer with lived experience.

The Queensland Persistent Pain Management Clinical Network Steering Committee is currently meeting every month and is chaired by Dr Kathleen Cooke, Anaesthetist and Pain Specialist, Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia, Children’s Health Queensland.

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

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

  • Collaborative Care (formerly Waiting list innovation working group)
  • Education Working Group
  • Paediatric persistent pain services support working group

The role of the network

  • Identify and drive initiatives to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of persistent pain management services in Queensland
  • Provide expertise, direction and advice to the Department of Health (DoH) in relation to persistent pain management care-related service planning and emerging issues at the local, statewide and national levels
  • Provide expertise, direction and advice to clinicians caring for patients within the domain of persistent pain management services
  • Develop an open and supportive environment for clinicians and consumers in relation to persistent pain management care in Queensland
  • Foster education and research in persistent pain management evidenced based best practice

Principal functions

  • Provide advice in relation to the planning and development of persistent pain management services in Queensland
  • Develop, review and endorse for statewide 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 other 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 business units, Hospital and Health Services and other 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
  • 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

Current priorities

  • Establish a Clinical Services Capability Framework (CSCF) to indicate what clinical services are essential for management of persistent pain throughout Queensland Health facilities, establish accountability and benchmarking via CSCF and the Electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (ePPOC)
  • Provide a SPPMCN internet site with updated data and links to key resources such as persistent pain management services sites, GP information, educational resources, pain program resources, primary care and community resources
  • Wait List innovations to reduce wait times, provide information and strategies for patients and GPs while on a wait list, wait list reviews, and alternate services available
  • Discharge innovations to improve transition to the community
  • Paediatric service innovations to support the development and extension of regional sites
  • Improve access to care for special groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-English speaking background  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 Queensland Health clinicians and services managing severe pain such as 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 Queensland Persistent Pain Management Clinical Network Forum was held on 3 August 2018 in Townsville.


Related links

Find a Persistent Pain Management clinic

Contact us

Phone: +61 7 3328 9175
Postal Address: GPO Box 48, Brisbane 4001

Last updated: 21 July 2022