Doncaster health initiative recognized for safer opioid prescribing program

Dr David CrichtonDr David Crichton
Dr David Crichton
A HEALTH initiative that led to a 20 per cent drop in opioid prescription in Doncaster is one of two projects up for a national award.

NHS South Yorkshire has been recognised for the Safer Prescribing of Opioids programme in Doncaster in the Innovate Awards.

The national healthcare awards – a collaboration between the Academic Health Science Networks and the NHS Confederation – have 11 categories with the Doncaster opioid programme shortlisted for Enabling Safer Systems of Care Through Innovation.

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The three-year initiative was developed to support chronic pain patients with safer alternatives to live well and rely less on opioids to manage their conditions and has seen a reduction in opioid prescription in the city of around a fifth.

The Doncaster Community Mental Health Crisis Alternatives Alliance has also been successfully selected as a finalist for the Diversity in Innovation Award at this year's Innovate Awards.

The alliance is made up of five mental health voluntary and community sector services - commissioned by NHS South Yorkshire and Doncaster City Council – as well as Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals.

The aims are to ensure patients do not need to tell their story more than once and preventing crisis escalation to an inpatient or emergency service where possible.

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Dr David Crichton, chief medical officer at NHS South Yorkshire and a Doncaster GP said: “We are rightly proud of our teams and colleagues in South Yorkshire who have been nominated in this year’s Innovate awards.

“Reducing the prescribing of opioids has been a long-term ambition for Doncaster and it is great to see the fruits of this three-year programme improving the lives of people with chronic pain conditions.

“It’s also wonderful to see our partnership working arrangements recognised for having a real impact on people’s mental health in Doncaster.

“Putting mental wellness and recovery at the heart of our partnership work is really helping people to live happily in their own communities.“

The Innovate Award winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Grand Connaught Rooms on Thursday, September 21 in London.