FAQs

 

We have attempted to provide answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Please let us know if there is anything that we have not answered by contacting Hunter Pain Clinic on (02) 4985 1800.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Q. Am I expected to pay my account on the day of consultation?
  2. Q. Are our doctors NO GAP providers?
  3. Q. Does Hunter Pain Clinic participate in online Medicare claims?
  4. Q. Workers Compensation - What does it mean to me?
  5. Q. Who can help me if I have a question regarding my account?
  6. Q. What part does a health fund play in my visit to Hunter Pain Clinic?
  7. Q. Why have I been referred to Hunter Pain Clinic?
  8. Q. How long does a referral last?
  9. Q. Can I speak to the doctors directly?
  10. Q. Can the pain clinic cure my pain?
  11. Q. How long will I need to attend the Hunter Pain Clinic?
  12. Q. Do you treat shingles and nerve pain?
  13. Q. Will I become addicted to pain medications?
  14. Q. What if I have problems over the weekend and your clinic is closed?
  15. Q. How do I get prescriptions if I run out on a Public Holiday or over the Christmas Holiday break?
  16. Q. Who arranges my day surgery admission?
  17. Q. What exactly does the Bookings Clerk do?
  18. Q. How does the day surgery staff manage my admission?
  19. Q. What is the difference between the day surgery and the Injection clinic?
  20. Q. Tell me about the nurses who look after me.
  21. Q. The doctor talked about a Spinal Cord Stimulator. What does this mean?
  22. Q. If I decide to proceed with the stimulator device, where is it done and who does it?
  23. Q. Where do I park at Lingard Private Hospital?
  24. Q. Does the Pain Clinic use a cancellation list?
  25. Q: I’m from out of town. Can you recommend a place to stay if I need to?
  26. Q. Do you have other locations to see the doctor?


1.   Q. Am I expected to pay my account on the day of consultation?
 

A. Yes. We accept payments by Eftpos, credit card or cash.

Fees are charged in line with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) recommended fee schedule. 

  
2.   Q. Are our doctors NO GAP providers?
 

A. Yes. We have NO GAP provision if you need to attend the day surgery, depending on your health fund cover. 

We have two Pain Management Specialists who are both qualified to look after you.

  
3.   Q. Does Hunter Pain Clinic participate in online Medicare claims?
 

A. Yes. Our administration team will submit your account on your behalf.

Please ensure you have updated your current personal bank details with Medicare.

  
4.   Q. Workers Compensation - What does it mean to me?
 

A. It’s a process and it takes time.

We will contact and seek approval from the insurance companies for consultations, treatments and procedures on your behalf.

We will be in contact with you regarding the status of your approval request(s).

To assist moving you through the system, we follow up on many cases on a daily basis. Once we send off the approval, we must wait to hear from the insurance company whether your approval has been approved or declined.

You will be notified by phone as soon as we are notified.

  
5.   Q. Who can help me if I have a question regarding my account?
 

A. You can phone the Pain Clinic on 4985 1800.  

It may take a second person to answer your questions, so we ask that you please be patient.

  
6.   Q. What part does a health fund play in my visit to Hunter Pain Clinic?
 

A. It plays no part if you have a consultation only.

If you are referred for a procedure under sedation at the day surgery, it will be necessary to know your cover, as this determines your fee at the day surgery.

It is your responsibility to know your level of cover. 

Not all cover is for day surgery.

  
7.   Q. Why have I been referred to Hunter Pain Clinic?
 

A. Hunter Pain Clinic treats patients suffering from chronic, persistent pain, both non-cancer and cancer-related. The aim of Hunter Pain Clinic is to consider the effect pain has on the individual and to effectively evaluate and respond to specific needs with a specialised treatment plan.

At your first visit the doctor will review the forms you have completed prior to your visit in order to understand the best approach for you. He will make a plan and let you know, no treatment is given at this time.

Treatment options are tailored to the individual and may include a combination of:

  • Medication to manage your pain.
  • Psychological approach to include counselling.
  • Exercise and physiotherapy.
  • Interventional procedures (ranging from nerve blocks to spinal cord stimulators).
  • Diagnostic / therapeutic blocks such as proactive discography, medial branch blocks and epiduroscopy.
  • Injections such as greater/lesser occipital nerve blocks, trigger point injections, prolotherapy
  • An autologous blood injection (Platelet Rich Plasma), meaning that your own blood is used. The most therapeutic portion of your blood is concentrated and obtained using a centrifuge. This is used to help your painful joints to heal and regenerate.
  • Botox injections.
  • Advanced pain therapies, such as spinal cord stimulation.
  
8.   Q. How long does a referral last?
 

A. GP referrals last 12 months. Specialist referrals last 3 months.

If your treatment is ongoing, and you have been referred by a specialist, it is likely you will need more than one referral.

  
9.   Q. Can I speak to the doctors directly?
 

A. Yes, at your consultation.

On the day of your procedure at the day surgery, however, they are unable to provide a separate consultation.     

Our nurses are trained professionals and can answer most questions.

If your question requires further clarification we will consult with your doctor and have an answer for you as soon as possible.

  
10.   Q. Can the pain clinic cure my pain?
 

A. With comprehensive assessment and an effective management and treatment plan, pain can now can be alleviated and managed very well in most cases.

  
11.   Q. How long will I need to attend the Hunter Pain Clinic?
 

A. This depends on your condition and treatment plan.

Some patients return regularly for follow-up and continued management. 

Some people require a shorter treatment plan.

  
12.   Q. Do you treat shingles and nerve pain?
 

A. Yes we do.

  
13.   Q. Will I become addicted to pain medications?
 

A. You will be given specific directions for your medications.

When taken correctly there is a low risk of addiction.

  
14.   Q. What if I have problems over the weekend and your clinic is closed?
 

A. We advise that you remain calm and seek medical assistance from your GP Access or contact your local hospital for advice.

Please call our clinic on the following Monday and inform us of any problems or concerns.

  
15.   Q. How do I get prescriptions if I run out on a Public Holiday or over the Christmas Holiday break?
 

A. It is recommended that you see your GP in advance to have prescriptions written and filled so that you can avoid this situation.

The specialist will send a report to your referring doctor who will prescribe ongoing medications for you unless dosage has been changed at consultation.

Any prescriptions which you receive from your GP are reissued by your GP.

  
16.   Q. Who arranges my day surgery admission?
 

A. There is a Bookings Clerk who will manage your admission to the day surgery.

The doctor will give you a blue and white form to complete and this includes your consent to the procedure, your medical & medication history and your privacy consent.

This form must be completed and returned to the day surgery before an appointment can be booked.  Once this is received your admission can begin.

  
17.   Q. What exactly does the Bookings Clerk do?
 

A. She will send to you in the mail:

  • Your letter of admission.
  • Printed information specific to your procedure.
  • An information brochure about the Hamilton Day Surgery which includes contact information and the day surgery journey.
  • An information procedure “Understanding your procedure” which explains things about making sure we have the correct patient, the correct site and the correct procedure.
  • Anaesthetic risk information.
  
18.   Q. How does the day surgery staff manage my admission?
 

A. Administrative staff will phone to advise you of any costs relating to your health fund.

A nurse from the day surgery will phone approximately one to two days ahead to ask about and advise you of:

  • Your admission time;
  • How long you need to stop eating and drinking;
  • Any medications you can have or not have;
  • Any allergies you may have;
  • Anaesthetic risk information;
  • Who to bring;
  • Approximately how long you will be at the day surgery on the day.

The next working day after your day surgery admission, a nurse from the Pain Clinic will phone to ask you a few short questions about your recovery. At this time, you will be given your follow up appointment date which the doctor has advised.

  
19.   Q. What is the difference between the day surgery and the Injection clinic?
 

A. You can use your health fund cover for the day surgery depending on your monthly premium and whether or not there is an excess or co-payment due. As part of Informed Financial Consent, you will be given item numbers for your procedure which you can check with your health fund.

If you do not belong to a health fund and want to have your procedure performed under an anaesthetic there will be a cost which will be disclosed to you prior to your booking.  You can decide if you wish to proceed or not.

If you want to proceed and you cannot afford to have an anaesthetic, some procedures can be done without the anaesthetic. We call this the “the Injection Clinic.”

These injections are always done at the end of the list of patients having an anaesthetic. This is because the anaesthetist usually has an afternoon list somewhere else that he or she needs to attend.

  
20.   Q. Tell me about the nurses who look after me.
 

A. The nurses who work at the day surgery are different to the nurses who work at the Pain Clinic. There are different roles at each place.

The Pain Clinic nurses are responsible for your education, managing your care if you proceed to a trial for an implant and for communication after you have left the day surgery. They will also make your follow up appointment.

Once you have left the day surgery, and if you have a question, please phone the nurse at the Pain Clinic.

The nurses at the day surgery look after you for the time you are there.

Hunter Pain Clinic nurses are available for phone advice, medication advice and queries and to liaise with our specialists and your GP to facilitate your care.

  
21.   Q. The doctor talked about a Spinal Cord Stimulator. What does this mean?
 

A. A spinal cord stimulator is a small implantable device used to relieve chronic persistent pain.

Some spinal cord stimulators produce a soothing tingling (or "pins and needles") sensation in order to relieve your pain, while others do not produce a sensation. 

There are several devices: SCS, PNS, ONS SNS, PENS. Your specialist will advise which one is correct for your particular case.

You will be allocated a nurse to “case manage” your care including supporting you through the process keeping you willy informed and providing education on the procedure and aftercare.

The position of the implanted stimulating leads along the spinal cord depends on your area of pain. The device can be programmed to fine tune the level of pain relief and perception of the stimulation.

Before a device is implanted, a trial is performed at the day surgery.

This means the leads are strapped to the outside of your body for a seven day trial to see if your pain is improved.  A positive outcome means there is potential for an implant.

There are several companies which provide devices and the doctor will advise the best one for you. Representatives from the company will meet with you and be your case manager and continue to provide organisation for programming indefinitely.

  
22.   Q. If I decide to proceed with the stimulator device, where is it done and who does it?
 

A. The doctors have visiting rights at Lingard Private Hospital so you will be managed by the doctors you know. Procedures are performed Friday and Monday on a rotational basis and you will be advised of the costs involved.

One of the nurses at the Pain Clinic will manage your admission and provide you with all the information and forms you will need. 

Before you go to hospital there are some things which need to be done to minimise your risk of infection, these include pre operative screening including blood tests, skin swabs and urine tests.

You will be required to have a dental check up and clean prior to admission.

If any of your pathology results show infection, you will be advised by a Pain Clinic nurse and you may be asked to take some antibiotics.

You cannot proceed with your implant until you are free of infection.

A staff member from Lingard Private Hospital will contact you the afternoon before your procedure to confirm your admission and fasting times. 

Most patients will be discharged on the following day. Our Pain Clinic nurses will call you during the next business day to enquire how you are doing.

  
23.   Q. Where do I park at Lingard Private Hospital?
 

A. There is a ramped driveway drop off zone at the front of the Main Entrance on Merewether St. There is undercover parking and disabled parking very close to the main entrance.

  
24.   Q. Does the Pain Clinic use a cancellation list?
 

A. We understand that people in pain want to see the specialist as soon as possible and we try to fit you in as best we can. Sometimes people change their appointment, so whilst it does not happen often, we tend to refer to this as having a list for “cancelled appointments.”

  
25.   Q: I’m from out of town. Can you recommend a place to stay if I need to?
 

A. Yes, however, we cannot be held responsible if your stay is unsatisfactory. Please provide feedback if this is the case.

The Burwood Inn - Merewether

Address: 77 Berner St, Merewether, NSW 2291
Phone: (02) 4963 5000
Newly renovated boutique hotel with great food.  
www.theburwood.com.au

NOAH'S On The Beach

Address: Cnr Shortland Esplanade & Zaara St, Newcastle, NSW 2300
Phone: (02) 4929 5181
Great location directly across from Newcastle Beach. Comfortable with great views and close to eateries. 
www.noahsonthebeach.com.au

QUEST Apartments on Hunter St

Address: 575 Hunter St, Newcastle West, NSW 2302
Phone: (02) 4928 8000
5 star hotel accommodation.
www.questapartments.com.au

Crowne Plaza - Newcastle Harbour

Address: Wharf Rd, Newcastle, NSW 2300
Phone: (02) 4907 5000
5 star hotel accommodation.
www.crowneplazanewcastle.com.au

  
26.   Q. Do you have other locations to see the doctor?
 

A.  Yes. Appointments are made through the Broadmeadow office phone number 4985 1800.

Head Office (Broadmeadow)

91 Chatham St
Broadmeadow NSW 2291
Phone: 02 4985 1800
Fax: 02 4940 0322

Tuggerah 

Mariners Medical
First floor, 1 Bryant Drive
Tuggerah NSW 2259
Phone: 02 4985 1800

Singleton

Singleton District Hospital
Cnr Boonal & Dangar Rd
Singleton NSW 2330
Phone: 02 4985 1800

Bella Vista

Q Central 
First floor, suite 110, 10 Norbrik Drive
Bella Vista NSW 2153
Phone: 02 4985 1800