Pain in Palliative Care

Palliative Care Teams in Northern Ireland manage cancer pain and other pain in palliative settings by a variety of means including medication, physical and psychological therapies. There is a role for interventional pain procedures, some of which are not performed in Northern Ireland e.g. Cordotomies, and for others which are not readily available to patients with palliative care needs.

Most palliative care teams in NI have a good working relationship with local acute and chronic pain teams but there are no dedicated services for this purpose and chronic pain teams have a limited knowledge and practical experience in managing cancer pain. 
The potential of a more active palliative care pain intervention service is that patients will be able to access more effective symptom control with a reduction in medication side effects.
This ECHO network is provided in conjunction with an established chronic pain / palliative care interventional partnership based in the Walton Hospital Liverpool (Dr Manohar Sharma) and Woodlands Hospice (Dr Kate Marley).

Hub Facilitators

Prof. Max Watson

Max Watson is Medical Lead of the Northern Ireland Hospice and visiting Professor at the University of Ulster.  He has taught and lectured extensively across the world. Max piloted the use of ECHO in Northern Ireland in 2014 through the hospice and following Superhub training in New Mexico last year has lead the growth of ECHO networks in the UK and Europe from the Northern Ireland Superhub in Belfast.

Curriculum details

This programme will run from December 2016 until March 2017, with the following curriculum.



12th December – Cordotomy

6th January – Epidurals, Implantables and IT lines

23rd January – Chest Wall pain

31st January – Spinal pain / Instability

22nd February – Head and Neck

6th March – Pelvic pain

21st March – Upper GI pain

7th April – Nursing Support & Challenges in setting up intervention of Pain Programme