2021 Curriculum learning syllabus: stage 3 special interest areas

Published: 25/02/2021

Acute Inpatient Pain

  • Group 2: 3 to 6 months

Learning outcome

  • Managing pain in inpatients (acute pain, acute on chronic pain, chronic pain, and cancer pain)

 Key capabilities


Can lead an acute inpatient pain team and use a biopsychosocial model of care


Delivers complex patient centred care emphasising shared decision making with the patient and other health professionals


Delivers evidence-based pain medicine


Provides safe and effective pharmacological management of acute and procedural pain in all age groups


Demonstrates an ability to perform necessary practical pain relieving procedures for safe, effective evidence-based practice 


Demonstrates effective consultation skills in challenging areas (e.g. ventilated in ICM, non-verbal patient and those with learning difficulties)


Facilitates referrals to specialist palliative care and end of life care when needed


Recognises need to liaise with specialty services such as liaison psychiatry and addiction medicine services and refers where appropriate

Examples of evidence

Experience and logbook:
  • experience of managing acute and acute on chronic pain in the acute hospital setting and in pain management clinics, pain intervention lists, pain interventions as part of end of life care which may include terminal care setting.
Supervised Learning Events (SLEs) can be used to demonstrate:
  • safe and effective pharmacological management of acute, acute on chronic and procedural pain in all groups
  • explanation of clinical reasoning behind diagnostic and clinical management decisions to patients/carers/guardians and other colleagues
  • appropriate pharmacological knowledge for safe short and long term prescribing of opioids
  • ability to manage complications from interventional procedures and pharmacological management for pain
  • appropriate clinical reasoning by analysing physical and psychological findings
  • appropriate and timely liaison with other medical specialty services when required
  • application of effective team working strategies to ensure that effective prioritisation, communication and shared decision making occurs
  • development of an individualised care plan, including anticipatory prescribing at end of life
  • appropriate application of evidence based treatments for pain management
  • practical procedural skills for management of acute inpatient pain
  • lead inpatient pain review round in collaboration with MDT.
Personal Activities and Personal Reflections may include:
  • national and international courses or conferences related to Acute Inpatient Pain
  • presentation at relevant meeting eg abstract or free paper
  • development of guidelines and policies related to Acute Inpatient Pain
  • leadership training and demonstration of ability to lead an inpatient acute pain service
  • attendance at multi-disciplinary pain meetings.
Other evidence:
  • satisfactory MSF.

Suggested supervision level

  • 4 - should be able to manage independently with no supervisor involvement (although should inform consultant supervisor as appropriate to local protocols).

Cross links with other domains and capabilities

  • all generic professional domains of learning
  • General Anaesthesia
  • Pain