Reduce Opioid Prescribing

The AHSN NENC has committed funding to a project which will evaluate the impact of an educational video on opioid prescribing. The overall aim of this project is to reduce opioid prescribing in the region.

Opioid Prescribing

Acute pain relief is often started appropriately in hospital but without a clear stop date for primary care prescribers on discharge. A follow up hospital admission offers an opportunity to safely adjust opioids, improve patient safety and decrease risk of readmission, accidental overdose and improve operative outcomes. This requires education and behaviour change.

Project Delivery

AHSN funding has already supported an online, educational intervention that substantially reduced inappropriate hypnotic prescribing on in-patient psychiatry wards.

This project will first measure the wards that discharge most patients on strong opioids or new opioid prescriptions across Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust.

A patient information tool detailing side effect and benefits of opioids will be developed to support prescribers.

A multi professional, online, educational resource highlighting risk of harm from prolonged / high dose opioids and explaining safe deprescribing will be created.  This resource will be used as an intervention to improve prescribing.


There will then be an evaluation of subsequent behaviour change and impact on opioid prescribing over time.

The primary end point will be measurement of total opioid dose after discharge at 3 months and 6 months within primary care. Secondary outcomes will be the data analytics from the intervention, knowledge, attitudes and confidence around prescribing from health professionals.

Spread and Adoption

If successful, there is potential for widespread adoption of the educational resource and the video will made freely available to all healthcare professionals after review by the medicines optimisation committee and incorporated into the Great North Care Record.

It will be disseminated to the Clinical Commissioning Groups and specifically the opioid reduction groups across the region.

For more information please contact Sue Hart