Dr Karen Hilary Simpson

Consultant in pain medicine

MBChB FRCA FFPMRCA Dip Medical Acupuncture


Specialises in

I have been a consultant in the Leeds NHS Trust since 1987. 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 e.g. complex regional pain syndrome and its management.Treatments I offer include medication management, nerve blocks (e.g. epidural and facet joint injections) and can recommend when referral for other physical techniques and psychological interventions to manage pain would be appropriate.I am experienced in most interventional pain management and offer spinal cord stimulation at the Spire Leeds. I am experienced in acupuncture and TENS.I have held officer/committee membership for 30 years for national bodies with responsibility for training/education. My commitment is evidenced by my total publications: 8 textbooks, 25 chapters, 90 papers/editorials/reviews. I have presented at 30 international meetings and 120 national meetings (20 in the last 5 years). 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 e.g. 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-date: 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 am co-author of the BMA Book of the Year 2015.
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Treatment information

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

Other treatments

Pain assessment and treatment planning Medication advice Diagnostic and therapeutic nerve and spinal injections Neuromodulation including spinal implants for spinal cord stimulation Acupuncture and 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

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

Diploma in Medical Acupuncture / Britain / 2000
Diploma in Medical Acupuncture


Professional memberships

British Medical Acupuncture Society

Expert Witness Institute

International Association for the Study of Pain

British Pain Society


Professional leadership

Editor of Pain Europe newsletter
FPM representative RCA safe anaesthesia liaison group
FPM representative on RCA revalidation committee
Chairman of FFPMRCA examination

Research and publications

I have no formal academic sessions but in 2000 I co-founded a Leeds research group 'Pallium' (Partners for Academic Palliative Care and Pain Management) for academics, consultants, trainee doctors, nurses and post-doctoral MD and PhD students. Our research developed with rapid expansion of funded projects, planned projects, publications and dissemination activities. We now have many portfolio studies that contribute to the Leeds Trust research output. By 2005 we had raised >£0.75 million. Since then we have always secured enough research funding from different sources to be self supporting e.g. 2007 funded a full time project manager, 2010 £70K from the West Yorkshire Comprehensive Local Research Network funded 3 years (a research nurse and an administrator) and 2011 funded a 2 year senior nurse research post I lead pain research with its clinical projects and multi-centre trials of analgesics/ neuromodulation systems. Our unit is a national top recruiting centre for several trials. We had favourable comment after MHRA audit of our research methods and operating procedures The Pallium Group was established to provide a focus for regional/national developments in pain/palliative care research to foster inter-disciplinary working and clinically relevant research to improve patient care; I am proud to say it works well.

Current NHS posts

Honorary consultant in anaesthesia and pain medicine, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
Honorary consultant, St Gemma's Hospice
Senior clinical lecturer, University of Leeds

Contact information

Telephone 0113 218 5908/9 or 0113 269 3939 ext 2439
Website http://www.painexpert.org.uk
Private secretary Liz Almond
Private secretary telephone 0113 269 3939 ext 2439
Private secretary fax 0113 2185980
Private secretary email liz.almond@spirehealthcare.com