Dr Mark Rockett

Dr Mark Rockett

Honorary Associate Professor (Clinical Senior Lecturer)

Faculty of Health



I am a consultant Anaesthetist and Specialist in Pain Medicine at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. My main research interest is in modernising perioperative pain management in the UK to achieve the best outcomes for patients whilst minimising the risks of developing long term opioid use or persistent post-surgical pain.

This interest developed from an awareness that there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the longer-term outcomes from surgery, trauma and intensive care – particularly around persistent pain, function and long-term opioid use. There is still so much we don’t know about pain and function after surgery. Our assumptions about requirements for pain relief are often incorrect and may lead to potentially harmful interventions. The opioid crisis in the United States is one good example of incorrect models and goals for pain relief resulting in a healthcare disaster. I hope that the findings of my research contribute to a knowledge base that prevents such a disaster occurring in the UK.

I have previously studied the composition and effectiveness of inpatient pain services in the UK and revealed a chronic lack of investment. Outcomes of these studies have been used to improve pain services throughout the UK.

I am currently chief investigator for the POPPY study. This is an anaesthesia-trainee led national project investigating the prevalence of and associations with persistent post-operative pain and persistent post-operative opioid use following day case surgery. The findings of this study will help to highlight where we should be going with perioperative pain management in order to optimise long-term outcomes.

I have held several national roles helping to shape training in pain medicine in the UK. As a prior member of the Faculty of Pain Medicine Board, I helped develop a new curriculum for the Royal College of Anaesthetists and a training module for inpatient pain medicine. Working with the Royal College of Anaesthetists, I have developed the Guidelines for Provision of Anaesthetic Services to bring about changes in how NHS hospitals assess preoperative complex pain and opioid use. This has recently been embedded in the accreditation standards for anaesthesia services.


2008 Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, RCoA 
2005 Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine, ANZCA – awarded Barbara Walker Prize for Excellence in Pain Medicine
2004 PhD Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh
2000 Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, RCoA
1996 Member of the Royal College of Physicians, RCP UK
1993 MB ChB, University of Bristol Medical School
1990 Psychology BSc (2:1), University of Bristol