FPM Patient Information Brochure
What to Bring
If you are attending the clinic for the first time or your referral has expired, please ask your doctor to send a referral letter to the clinic by fax, post or email.
When you come for your appointment, please remember to bring:
Please remember to allow enough time to see the doctor.
Expect to be at the clinic for about 2 hours. We make every effort to be on time. However please be patient if you are kept waiting, it is because the doctor is attending to another patient. You can be assured that when it is your turn, you will receive the same care and attention.
We are happy to do Telehealth Consultations with patients.
The preference is to do it by Video link.
We use Apple FaceTime for Apple iPhone users or Helix Telehealth for other smartphones.
Telephone Consultations are available if needed.
The fees for Telehealth are the same as face to face consultations.
Patients join the Helix Telehealth meeting by clicking a unique URL that will be sent via SMS or email to their smart device prior to their appointment
Thank you for answering the questions on the attached forms and completing the series of questionnaires, registration form. Please use a black or red pen to answer the questions (please do not use blue pens or pencils as these do not scan well). We use this information to see how your pain affects your life, to plan and monitor your treatment.
FPM Patient Registration Form for updating your details with us
FPMX Video Telehealth - User guide for Apple iPhone users June 2022
FPMX Video Telehealth - User guide for Android smart phone June 2022
FPMX Video Telehealth and Phone Consultation Changes July 2022
FPMx Brief Pain Outcomes
FPMX Feedback Form for patients and carers about your experience with us
Government & Higher Learning
The Better Health Channel
Health Topics Multilingual
Frankston: Active Ageing and Disability Services
Home and Community Care Services - Mornington Peninsula
Active Seniors on Mornington Peninsula
Physical Activity Directory
Job Access Australia
SeekLearning (TAFE) Short Courses and Retraining
Open Colleges (Online Education)
Organisations & Foundations
Virtual Pain Centre
Laboratory Tests for Australian Consumers (and how they are used)
Chronic Pain Australia
Australian Pain Management Association
Pain Australia Pain Link helpline - 1300 340 357
MS Society - Managing Pain: For People Living With MS and Nerve Pain
Victorian Companion Card for Carers
Exercise is Medicine
Independent Living Centres Australia
Return to Work Knowledge Base
AMA Family Violence Resources
Effects of Drug Addiction on Oral Health
Advance Care Planning Australia
Self Help Programs
Equipment Supplies & Books
Addictions and Recovery I want to change my life network
Self Help Addiction Resource Centre
Quit Smoking Community
Types of Alcoholics
Frankston and Mornington Drug and Alcohol Service (FaMDAS)
Tame The Pain Medtronic
Chronic Pain Resources Abbott
Control Your Pain Boston Scientific
HF10 Stimulation Nevro
Peripheral Neurostimulation (NeuroStimulator PENS therapy) Algotec
Cefaly Transcutaneous Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation for Migraine
1. How do I book an appointment with a pain specialist?
Please complete our FPM New Patient Questionnaire. You can download this PDF from our website or you can call the clinic and ask us to post or email the forms. Return them to the office with a copy of your referral letter. When we have received ALL these documents, we will offer you an appointment.
2. Why do I need to fill in the pain questionnaires for the initial consult?
The doctors need this information to see how your pain affects your life so that they can work out what you need and help you manage your pain.
These are not trick questions to see if the pain is "in your head". They allow you to tell us how pain affects your life.
3. Why do I have to fill out questionnaires at each visit?
This gives the doctor more information to better help you manage your pain.
4. How long will I have to wait to get an appointment?
We can give an appointment within 2-3 weeks depending on when we receive your paperwork.
Wait time for each doctor varies and it is best to ask our friendly admin staff what the current wait time is for each doctor when they contact you to book your appointment.
The admin team will contact you once we have received your completed pain questionnaires and your referral.
5. Why do I need a referral letter from a doctor to see a medical specialist?
You need a referral letter because Medicare says so. In Australia, you need a referral from another doctor to see a medical specialist. It is better for you to get a referral letter from your GP because these are valid for 12 months or longer. Referral letters from another medical specialist are valid but only last 3 months. Although, other health professionals such as physiotherapists can give you a referral, these are not accepted by Medicare.
6. I have a referral from my specialist, why do I need a referral from a GP?
Specialist referrals are only valid for 3 months. GP referrals are valid for 12 months.
Sometimes GPs give an indefinite referral. It may be helpful for you that you ask your GP for an indefinite referral so you do not have to continuously go to the specialist to keep your referral up to date.
7. What is the difference between a GP referral letter and a Specialist referral letter?
A GP referral is valid for 12 months and a specialist referral is valid for 3 months of the first visit.
8. How much do I get back from Medicare, WorkCover or TAC?
While our fees are standard, the amount each patient gets back varies according to their condition and circumstances. You will be given a clearer estimate of costs once we have received your pain questionnaires and you are offered an appointment.
9. I was referred to Dr Taverner, why am I seeing another pain specialist?
We can give you the option of seeing a pain fellow or clinical assistant supervised by Dr Taverner earlier and so that you can get your treatment started sooner. If you prefer to wait, you can still see Dr Taverner.
10. Why does it cost so much to see a pain medicine specialist?
A pain management specialist/consultant is a highly trained medical doctor who provides comprehensive expert assessment and holistic treatment of patients with uncontrolled acute or chronic pain. Pain medicine specialists need 15-20 years of training to gain the breadth and depth of experience to learn what is best for the patient. They constantly meet with other experts in Australia and overseas to keep up to date, so that they have the latest information with which to help you.
11. What are Acute and Chronic Pain?
Acute pain is a useful warning system for the body, the cause is usually obvious, it is mostly short lived and resolves with healing.
Chronic or persistent pain is more complex. It is pain that lasts beyond the time of healing or more than three months. The cause is less obvious. It is less about structural damage and is often more about personal, family, leisure and/or work problems, emotional distress and suffering. While persistent pain itself serves no useful purpose, because of its complexity, all aspects need to be treated or managed.
12. What is a Pain Medicine Specialist?
Frequently, well-qualified physicians and family practice doctors simply do not have the expertise to appropriately treat acute or chronic pain. Too often this leads to over-medicating or improperly medicating the patient.
A pain medicine specialist/consultant is a highly trained medical doctor who uses an integrated approach to diagnose and treat painful conditions that aims to optimise the use of self-management, medication, psychological & physical strategies and appropriate interventional procedures. Rehabilitation is much easier with good pain control. We help patients regain a sense of purpose and self-worth.
13. How long is the first consultation?
Please expect to be at the clinic for 2 hours. Allow enough time to see the doctor. We do make every effort to be on time and minimise your waiting time. Please be patient if you are kept waiting. It is because the doctor is attending to another patient. You can be assured that when it is your turn, you will receive the same care and attention.
14. How can I help myself?
We at Frankston Pain Management believe that a key component on your journey to conquering pain is to help you with the right resources.
Please visit our extensive and carefully curated section on Helping Yourself