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Oxford Pain Management Centre (formerly Pain Relief Unit) referrals

We accept referrals from GPs and consultants.

Referral pathway

Referrals to OPMC are via the MSK MATT team. A healthcare professional can make the referral electronically from a email account to:

Out of Oxford area must go via GP or local MSK hub, but always via the electronic referral system.

Consultants should also follow any guidance or templates advising on information required with the referral.

The MATT team may then contact the patient directly to gather more information - such as current medications, previous pain interventions, psychological and social factors - to allow adequate triage assessment.

Onward referral may be made or adjusted if deemed clinically appropriate by the Connect Health team or OPMC team.

Pain Management Programmes are delivered by a different service (Optimise).

NB: Please also refer to Service Conditions 8.5 of the NHS Standard Contract 22/23 for further guidance.

Referral criteria

  1. Adult: 18 years or older
  2. Pain causing a significant impact on the patient's quality of life
  3. Treatable disease has been excluded or treatment completed
  4. First line therapies have failed*

*For advice on initial management please refer to local guidelines and:

We are currently involved in the national CRPS registry.

If suspected CRPS please contact us via the email advice line in addition to making a referral through the Directly Bookable Service.

Email advice line:


  • Patients with a treatable disease that has not been optimised by the appropriate specialty.
  • Patients with significant untreated psychiatric or substance misuse disorders. Please refer to psychiatric services. (We find that patients with untreated psychiatric disorders find it difficult to engage with the pain management approach).
  • Patients who have previously attended the PMC for the same condition and have been discharged within the past 2 years. These patients are unlikely to benefit from re-referral. However, we would be happy to give advice via the GP email advice service:
  • Patients who have been seen and discharged from another pain clinic for the same complaint. Please discuss the case with the initial pain clinic, unless the patient is relocating from another area or requiring a second opinion.
  • Funding for facet joint injections is not currently supported by the Thames Valley Priorities Committee.

Patients will not be given an injection at their first clinic appointment. Our consultant will decide if an injection might be appropriate after a careful assessment.

How to refer

Please provide as much information as possible so that we understand more about the patient and how we can help.

  • Full GP practice details
  • Patient data including the patient's name, date of birth and telephone number
  • Patient's NHS number
  • All relevant clinical information including past medical, surgical and psychiatric conditions
  • Drug history - including current prescriptions, allergies, past analgesics tried and doses reached; please include any known history of substance misuse (recreational drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs)
  • Previous referrals to other pain clinics or pain management programmes
  • Information on any relevant pathology or X-ray tests carried out
  • Whether the patient needs transport on medical grounds
  • Whether the patient needs an interpreter

Contact us

Oxford Pain Management Centre (formerly Pain Relief Unit)
Churchill Hospital
Old Road
Oxford OX3 7LE

Tel: 01865 572080 (with answerphone) Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm

Email for GPs only:

For some types of pain, it may be more useful to refer the patient directly to a specialist clinic within the OUH, rather than to the Pain Management Centre.


Prof Zam Cader, Consultant Neurologist at the Oxford Headache Centre

Pelvic pain

Miss Jane Moore, Consultant Gynaecologist, Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Trigeminal neuralgia

Miss Stana Bojanic, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Department of Neurosurgery

Children and adolescents with pain

Oxford Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Centre (OxPARC)

Last reviewed:21 December 2023