Dr Karen Hilary Simpson

Consultant in Pain Medicine

MBChB FRCA FFPMRCA


Specialises in

I was a consultant in the Leeds NHS Trust from 1987 to 2016. I retired from NHS practice. I have an Honorary Consultant contract with the Leeds Trust now.

Pain problems I treat include: chronic spinal pain, post-whiplash injury pain, headaches/migraine, peripheral nerve problems, post-amputation pain, cancer pain, joint pains, complex regional pain syndrome, post-surgical pain, post-traumatic pain, brachial plexus pain and various musculoskeletal pains. I am also interested in pain of trauma, surgery and pain of nervous system origin eg complex regional pain syndrome and its management.

Treatments I offer include medication management, nerve blocks (eg epidural and facet joint injections) and Botox. I am experienced in most interventional pain management strategies. I can provide acupuncture and TENS training. I can recommend when referral for other physical techniques and psychological interventions to manage pain would be appropriate.

I have held officer/committee membership for 35 years for national bodies with responsibility for training/education.

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Treatment information

Some of the principal treatments carried out by Dr Karen Hilary Simpson at Spire include:

Other treatments

  • Acupuncture
  • Botox
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic nerve, joint and spinal injections
  • Medication advice
  • Pain assessment and treatment planning
  • Radiofrequency treatments
  • Referral for multi-disciplinary pain management

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Important information about Covid-19 tests

Spire Leeds Hospital is only able to provide Covid-19 tests to patients undergoing surgery at our hospital. Covid-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service.

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Additional information

Clinical interests

Pain relief
Anaesthetics
Pain management

Chronic spinal pain, post-whiplash injury pain, headaches/migraine, peripheral nerve problems, post-amputation pain, cancer pain, joint pains, complex regional pain syndrome, post-surgical pain, post-traumatic pain, brachial plexus pain and various musculoskeletal pains.

Qualification and professional memberships

MBChB / Leeds / 1979
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

FRCA / England / 1983
Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists

FFPMRCA / UK / 2008
Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists


Professional memberships

Expert Witness Institute

International Association for the Study of Pain

Neuromodulation Society of UK and Ireland (NSUKI)


Professional leadership

Auditor for professional examination: Fellowship of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists

Research and publications

I have published 8 textbooks, 25 chapters, 90 papers/editorials/reviews. I have presented at 30 international meetings and 120 national meetings. In 2015 the BMA book of the year prize was won by me and 3 colleagues (Oxford Handbook of Complex Cancer Pain Management. Oxford University Press 2014).

As British Pain Society secretary/chair Professional Standards Committee Faculty of Pain Medicine I produced many national recommendations for clinical practice and patient information.

2009-2013: Chair Professional Standards Committee; responsible for revalidation in Pain Medicine; I chaired sub-groups eg training and competency in spinal cord stimulation, intrathecal drug delivery, epidurals for spinal pain.

1999-2013: Editor Continuing Education in Anaesthesia Critical Care and Pain; writing, commissioning, reviewing articles and mapping them against the syllabus for training in anaesthesia. 2000-2016: active in curriculum development in Pain and Palliative Medicine.

2002-2014: member of European group working on initiatives in pain management; newsletter editor; circulation 50,000 in 5 languages.

2007-2014: Board member (2 years Vice Dean) Faculty of Pain Medicine Royal College of Anaesthetists.

2013-2016: Clinical lead national Pain Management in Prisons educational initiative. I was a basic science examiner for the RCA and final FRCA examiner for 13 years and a FFPM RCA examiner for 4 years. I gained experience examining in other countries eg Eire, Sri Lanka, Cairo and Hong Kong.

I still contribute to the FFPM RCA examination by training and auditing examiners.

Current NHS posts

Honorary consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
Honorary Consultant, St Gemma's Hospice, Leeds
Senior Clinical Lecturer, School of Medicine, University of Leeds

Contact information