Community Pain Team

Our community pain team is a branch of the pain clinic team at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

We deliver care to people over 18 years of age and registered to GP practices within Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG at either the Friarage Hospital Northallerton or Whitby Hospital.

We help patients to have a better understanding of their pain and some of the non-medication factors which can help to improve your quality of life. This may include 1:1 therapies and/or group programmes.


The service provides holistic patient-centred care within a bio-psycho-social framework, with either individual treatment and/or group programmes, depending on the needs of the patient.

Our team is overseen by our consultant in pain management, who can review your relevant pain medications taking into account other complex medical conditions. Our consultant will coordinate your care with other specialist disciplines and consider further investigations if required.

Our individual 1:1 clinics available include our clinical nurse specialist, who can offer regular medication reviews and make adjustments to optimise your analgesia. This may include accessing our opioid reduction clinic. It is not unusual for us to recommend that patients reduce some medications and only continue the ones most effective for each individual. We recognise that sometimes pain medicines can have limited effects while frequently causing negative side effects.

Our highly skilled cognitive behavioural therapist (CBT) provides regular 1:1 clinics to help with the emotional impact of persistent pain. We can guide our patients to improve their mental wellbeing by teaching new skills and coping strategies, focusing on approaches to live a full and meaningful life despite difficulties with pain.

Our specialist physiotherapist provides regular 1:1 clinics to help you regain the confidence to return to doing valued activities you may have stopped doing. This starts with understanding the meaning of pain, sometimes taught in our small group pain neuroscience education sessions. Exploring skills such as pacing – planning – prioritising and flare-up management, we can help work towards values-based personal goals using graded exposure to move toward living well again.

Pain management programme

This is a CBT therapist, nurse and physiotherapist led group programme to improve function, mental health, and quality of life and to teach a variety of pain self-management skills alongside making lifestyle changes.  The content of this seven week programme includes:

  • Pain neuroscience education
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Medication optimisation
  • Acceptance and adjustment
  • Mindfulness
  • Microbiome advice
  • Values based goal setting
  • Exercise education
  • Flare up management
  • Communication  and language
  • Relaxation strategies
  • Anti-inflammatory diet
  • Behavior change
  • Pacing graded exposure
  • Self-compassion
  • Transactional analysis
  • Thoughts & emotions
  • CBT and stress management

What to expect

We accept referrals to our service directly from your GP using Choose and Book. Your care pathway with us normally begins with you attending an individual assessment with our multi-disciplinary team, to allow us to understand your pain story and the impact of pain on your life. We can then agree a tailored management plan with you, taking into account your values and what is important to you.

Our 1:1 clinics are often face to face at the Friarage Hospital Northallerton or Whitby Hospital, as are our pain management programmes. We understand that sometimes it is not always practical to visit our community hospitals, and often there can be temporary increases in pain symptoms. Consequently, we may use telephone follow-up reviews to support you with your self-management advice.