The Blackthorn Trust Pain Management programme offers anthroposophic medical treatment, rehabilitation and support into employment for patients suffering with chronic pain which has proven unresponsive to hospital treatment.

Overseen by Dr Johannes McGavin, the programme weaves together Blackthorn’s therapies and workshops to help reduce the severity of symptoms, including pain, fatigue and insomnia in order to improve physical and mental well-being and capacity for day to day living.

Anthroposophy means ‘knowledge of the human being.’ Its medicine is based on natural science and makes use of the insights of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) in investigating the human condition in health and illness. The importance of self-development in fulfilling one’s purpose in life is a central feature, and Blackthorn provides an ideal setting for this enquiry.

To apply, please download this form and ask your GP to complete it


  • The causes of patients' chronic pain must have been fully investigated and proven unresponsive to previous hospital or pain clinic interventions
  • Patients must be resident within West Kent CCG
  • Application may only be made by the patient's own GP
  • Blackthorn's approach is based on the patient's desire to change and therefore requires a willingness to participate
  • An initial assessment and a trial period are offered to make sure that the approach is suitable and therefore likely to be productive


“A number of clients of Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust Maidstone Community Mental Health team have benefitted from a Co-Workers placement at Blackthorn Trust as a pathway to return to paid employment. 

The placements have proved incredibly successful and with outstanding care and support from staff, volunteers and indeed other Co-Workers, many people have made the vital transition back to paid employment having a positive impact on their mental health recovery."

Jeanette Freeman Vocational Rehabilitation Lead, NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust