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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Psychological Medicine

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The Psychological Medicine Service provides care for patients suffering with chronic pain at both the Pain Relief Unit at the Churchill Hospital and the Optimise Pain Rehabilitation Unit at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford. Patients are seen from across Oxfordshire and surrounding counties.

The experience and expression of pain are complicated, multifactorial events, where psychological factors are critically important.

Patients with chronic pain often present with:

  • emotional problems (anxiety, anger and depression)
  • disability
  • poor sleep
  • fatigue
  • social isolation
  • unsatisfactory family roles and relationships
  • cognitive decline
  • employment difficulties.

Patients are sometimes trapped in an unrewarding cycle of pursuing a cure for an often incurable pain.

Evidence-based psychological treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies are integrated within a multidisciplinary care package offered by anaesthetists, specialist nurses and physiotherapists, in group and individual settings.

Psychological pain treatment is rarely offered in isolation, and referrals are only accepted from other members of the inter-disciplinary pain team.

For more information please see:


  • Dr Sandra Wiltshire, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Principal Psychologist
  • Dr Sarah Lack, Clinical Psychologist