Aim: To evaluate the impact of a nurse consultant in developing a new model of care for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Background: Patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain experience fragmented care and long waits to have their symptoms assessed [Clinical Standards Advisory Group (2000) Services for Patients with Pain. Department of Health, London]. A nurse consultant post was created to implement a chronic musculoskeletal pain service and prevent inappropriate referrals to other services.
Methods: Seven peers participated in a semi-structured, qualitative, audio-taped interview to evaluate the impact of the nurse consultant's role. Data were analysed using content analysis. A retrospective audit of 60 patients was conducted to determine utilization of hospital services following attendance at the pain clinic.
Results: Two main themes were identified from the interview data included: (1) the influence of the nurse consultant in implementing a chronic pain service and (2) the clinical leadership skills of the nurse consultant. The audit demonstrated that majority of patients (n = 53) were utilizing less hospital specialities.
Conclusion: The nurse consultant's role was pivotal in the implementation of the chronic pain service.