INPUT pain management


Read general information about attending our courses.

The courses are based on a mindfulness/acceptance and commitment therapy approach. They aim to:

  • improve your quality of life
  • understand your goals
  • help you engage in activities that are important to you
  • help you learn skills to better respond to pain and related experiences
  • improve your physical functioning
  • improve your use of medicines
  • allow you to be more independent and rely less on health services

The programmes include a combination of education, physical activities and psychology. They do not involve any hands-on or interventional treatments.

Activities include:

  • increasing social engagements, like time with friends and family, voluntary or paid work
  • increasing involvement with hobbies and physical activities

We run one of the few residential pain management courses in the NHS. The same course is also available online.

You'll learn and practise new ways of responding to pain. The aim is to be able to do more of the things that are important to you.

You must be able to:

  • wash, dress and care for yourself
  • travel to and from St Thomas' Hospital

There are sessions with:

  • physiotherapists
  • psychologists
  • occupational therapists
  • nurses

Doctors play a smaller role than other staff.

A typical day lasts from 9am to 5pm.

  • 9am, physiotherapy
  • 10am, nurse
  • 10.30am, break
  • 11am, psychology
  • Midday, lunch (provided)
  • 1pm, physiotherapy
  • 2pm, break
  • 2.30pm, occupational therapy
  • 3.30pm, psychology
  • 4.30pm, skills practise time
  • 5pm, finish


You'll stay in a flat at Gassiot House, St Thomas' Hospital during week nights and go home on weekends.

You get your own bedroom and share a bathroom and kitchen with 2 or 3 other patients. The accommodation is single-sex. If you are non-binary or have any concerns and would like to speak to us about accommodation, please contact us and we will do our best to support your needs. 

We'll provide supplies for breakfast and serve a meal each lunchtime. You need to make your own arrangements for an evening meal. There is a fridge and microwave available for your use in the flat.

After the course has finished

We'll follow-up with you 1 and 9 months after the course.

The follow-ups are to refresh what you have learnt and make new goals.

Our outpatient course is for people living locally who do not need the intensive residential course. It is not suitable for everyone.

You attend group sessions for 5 days, spread over 3 weeks. Exact dates and times will be confirmed by our team when booking your start date.

Sessions are held at Gassiot House, St Thomas' Hospital.

We want to help you concentrate less on pain relief and more on things you want to do. The aim is to:

  • improve your quality of life
  • find out what you need to work on most during the programme and beyond
  • help you take part in things that are important to you
  • help you learn new skills to respond to pain
  • improve your physical functioning (such as walking, playing sport, using stairs)
  • help you be more independent and rely less on health services

You'll take part in the course in a group, usually with 1 or 2 members of our team.

We'll ask you to:

  • set goals
  • explore physical movements
  • experiment and do new things
  • improve your knowledge
  • develop skills

The course does not involve any medical treatment or tests.

A typical session lasts from 10am to 3.15pm.

  • 10am, psychology
  • 11am, physiotherapy
  • Midday, lunch (not provided)
  • 12.30pm, physiotherapy
  • 1.30pm, psychology
  • 2.30pm, break
  • 2.45pm, team session, summary and goals
  • 3.15pm, finish

Please call us 2 weeks before your programme on 020 7188 3255 to confirm that you are attending.

The online course will help you to learn and practise skills to respond more effectively to pain. We'll help you to improve your quality of life using acceptance, rather than distraction or control.

At the start of the course, you'll have a 45 to 50 minute face-to-face or phone appointment with a therapist, and another at the end of the course.

You'll be given access to a website called ACT4Painonline. You'll complete 8 online sessions over 5 weeks. Each session takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes.

You'll decide with your therapist what you would like to work on. In each online session you will watch some videos, listen to some audio recordings to practise new skills, and write messages to your therapist to reflect on your experience.

What is discussed in sessions remains confidential.

While you are waiting to come on a programme

Please let us know if you change address. This is very important as it may affect your NHS funding.

If you don't tell us immediately about a change of address we may have to delay your programme.

Please let us know if your circumstances change, for example if you start a new treatment of any sort, or it if becomes difficult for you to attend any of the sessions.

Philosophy of respect

The views, personal space, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability status of each person attending the INPUT programme should be respected at all times.

The same respect should be shown to hospital staff members and anyone else you meet.

Given the group nature of the programme, we ask that confidentiality is respected. Any behaviour disrupting other patients' care may result in you having to leave the programme.


You may occasionally be asked for your permission to have an observer in your group sessions.

This might be a healthcare professional or student, who would like to observe the programme, watch the staff and learn about pain management.

If you are ever unhappy or concerned about having someone observe your group, please speak to a member of the INPUT team.

Contact us

For more information, please contact us.

pals icon

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Is this page useful?