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Pain Rehabilitation Centre

Find assessment and management information on Pain Rehabilitation Centre conditions at:

Emergency Immediate transfer to the Emergency Department

If any of the following are present or suspected, phone 000 to arrange immediate transfer to the emergency department or seek emergent medical advice if in a remote region.

Patients with acute pain and new neurological symptoms e.g. Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) 

  • Patients requiring acute mental health services 
  • Concerns pertinent to medical/surgical condition which raise the possibility of serious underlying disease (malignancy or infection) should be reviewed by the appropriate speciality either via emergency department or high priority outpatient appointment

Are you referring to the right service?

Pain Rehabilitation Centres are for complex persistent pain patients who require a multidisciplinary approach for the management of their pain. Pain Rehabilitation Centre expect patients to take an active role in learning self-management techniques and to have a general practitioner who remains central to the supervision of their care.

Please consider if the goal of referral to a Pain Rehabilitation Centre is aligned with the treatment goals of persistent pain management. These are specifically to improve management of pain, improve function and improve quality of life overall. The approach is primarily a rehabilitative approach. Pain Rehabilitation Centres are not primarily diagnostic services.

All patients being referred to this service should:

  • Have persistent pain with disability and/or psychosocial distress relating to pain, 
  • Have persistent pain that has been thoroughly investigated; and 
  • Have referrals accompanied by all relevant investigations and specialist reports
  • For children 16 years and under, referrals should be made to the Children's Health Queensland referral guidelines

Urgent referrals Arranging urgent review

To arrange a very urgent outpatient appointment, please phone the relevant hospital’s switchboard and ask to speak to the Registrar of the relevant specialty. 


Out of scope services

  • Patients who can be well managed in primary care (using appropriate guidelines where necessary)
  • Previous Queensland Health Pain Rehabilitation Centre patients who have not followed management recommendations unless there are extenuating circumstances or new issues
  • Previous Queensland Health Pain Rehabilitation Centre patients who have completed the pain management pathway/programs and for whom no new management approaches are available (within previous 12 months)
  • Patients undergoing treatment from other specialist services for the same pain problem without mutual awareness/agreement of cross referral by both team
  • Patients with untreated and unstable mental health conditions 
  • Patient with a cognitive impairment of sufficient severity that would affect the ability to self-manage their condition unless they have a carer that is willing and able to assist with pain management recommendations 
  • Patients that have unstable, non-therapeutic drug dependence without concurrent treatment by a drug and alcohol specialist 
  • Indefinite referrals are not accepted


  • Please note that where appropriate and where available, the referral may be streamed to an associated public allied health and/or nursing service.  Access to some specific services may include initial assessment and management by associated public allied health and/or nursing, which may either facilitate or negate the need to see the public medical specialist.
  • A change in patient circumstance (such as condition deteriorating, or becoming pregnant) may affect the urgency categorisation and should be communicated as soon as possible.
  • Please indicate in the referral if the patient is unable to access mandatory tests or investigations as they incur a cost or are unavailable locally.

Out of catchment

Metro South Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service.  If your patient lives outside the Metro South Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.

Last updated 11 May 2022