Chronic pain services in South Australia

19 December 2016

In South Australia, services for people experiencing chronic pain are limited and the current services need to be modernised to meet the changing needs of the South Australian population and to adapt to changing best-practices.

A new model of care for chronic pain services has been developed to ensure patients receive the best care, first time, every time.

Key components of the new model of care:

  • A stepped model of care approach will be implemented. People experiencing low severity pain will be treated in a primary care setting, such as General Practice or community health, and people with moderate to high severity pain will be treated in either a secondary or tertiary setting, such as a hospital or outpatients department.
  • Chronic pain services will be available in each Local Health Network, either through a dedicated chronic pain service, via telehealth or via outreach services.
  • There will be an increase in chronic pain services delivered via telehealth and outreach services to ensure people in country areas have adequate access to these services.
  • A consistent set of GP referral guidelines and forms, including a patient questionnaire, will be implemented to guide access to specialist services.
  • Consistent triage categories, including a specific category for refractory cancer pain, will be implemented across the system to enable appropriate and consistent allocation of referrals.
  • Statewide clinical pathways for each triage category will be implemented to consistently guide the management of each patient cohort.

For more information about the new model of care, visit the Transforming Health website.

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