Opioids are very good analgesics for acute pain and pain at the end of life but guidance from NICE is clear that opioids are not indicated for chronic pain and guidance from the Royal College of Anaesthetists encourages their use in chronic pain only in specific circumstances and at a low dose in addition to clarifying the harm that can be caused otherwise.
To help support healthcare professionals to address overuse of opioids in chronic pain, a research group from the University of East Anglia (and funded by NIHR ARC East of England) identified six behavioural mechanisms that support prescribers to taper opioids use.
We are working in partnership with the ARC and Norfolk and Waveney CCG to convene a group of key stakeholders to co-produce and pilot an evidence-based strategy to address the six toolkit components (full toolkit available here):
The project aims to evaluate the best ways healthcare professionals can improve patient quality of life through a significant reduction in both opioid and other dependence forming medication prescribed for chronic pain.
These steps outline how we have approached the rollout of the toolkit. For more detail, see the infographic.
Work with local Prescribing Leads to
identify key stakeholders, identify
potential challenges to engagement and
develop strategies to overcome barriers
See our Stakeholder Matrix.
Work with local Prescribing Leads to refine the list of key stakeholders. Bring the stakeholders together to achieve a collective understanding of the toolkit, identify key individuals motivated to support the change and better understand the challenges to engaging with unrepresented stakeholders.
Access the presentation for the online workshop.
If you are intersted in launching an opioid deprescribing pathway, you may find the following resources useful. We ask for a few basic details to understand who is accessing these resources.
These resources are also available on the Norfolk and Waveney ICBs Knowledge Anglia website. If you would like to find out more about this project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were delighted host the Opioid Deprescribing Pathway Launch event in November 2022 – this included presentations from the project team covering topics such as the National deprescribing priorities, the Opioid Deprescribing Toolkit and the process for the Opioid Tapering Pathway development and implementation. To see the agenda and recording of the event please go here: Opioid Deprescribing Pathway: Online launch meeting | ARC East of England (nihr.ac.uk).
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