PATIENTS suffering chronic pain can now receive life-changing treatment closer to home with the launch of the Tamworth Integrated Pain Service (TIPS).
The new facility provides assessment, education and treatment to improve the quality of life for people who experience chronic pain, such as pain from serious road accidents.
The service runs from Tamworth hospital three days a week thanks to $450,000 in recurrent funding from the state government.
Established in partnership with the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, the clinic provides pain management for people living across the New England North West.
TIPS manager Vickie Croker said patients in the New England region previously had to travel as far afield as Newcastle for pain management support and advice.
“The new service will mean less distance to travel, less personal cost and less time away from family,” Ms Croker said.
“It’s about providing fair, equitable and timely access to care for patients from rural NSW.”
Ms Croker said chronic pain could have a significant impact on sleep, self-care, mobility, work or school attendance, emotions and relationships.
“Pain shouldn’t be considered a normal part of everyday life,” she said.
“If you’re feeling ongoing pain that interrupts your daily routine it’s important to see your GP.”
The TIPS team includes a doctor, specialist nurses, physiotherapist and clinical psychologist.
Tamworth is one of five regional hospitals that received state government funding to establish a pain clinic.