Oberoi Consulting

Safe Prescribing of Opioids


Our client required a solution to enable the safe prescribing of strong opioids whilst enabling the NHS to making cost savings.

Opioids are increasingly being used to treat persistent pain, however the safety and efficacy of opioids in the long term is uncertain as there is a propensity for these drugs to cause problems of tolerance,  dependence and addiction

The client’s objectives were to:

  • Raise the awareness of excessive dosing and concomitant prescribing in strong opioid analgesia
  • Highlight cost implications of first line morphine vs. branded generic prescribing.
  • Highlight the gaps between CCG formulary and real-time prescribing.
  • Deliver a strategy to assist clinicians to identify key patient groups.

The British Pain Society Guidelines 2010 provided the framework and rationale for the project.

The client also required Oberoi to support the engagement of a pilot CCG.


Oberoi Consulting developed a clinical audit solution that would enable GPs, Nurses, CCG Pharmacists or practice administration staff to self-audit their patient population.

A complex set of searches identified specific cohorts of patients for review, with the numeric results being used to create easy to use practice reports at baseline and post implementation.

Oberoi Consulting engaged a pilot CCG on behalf of the client – South Staffordshire CCG and it was through their medicines management team that the audit and review solution would be delivered.

A training workshop was developed for the CCG pharmacists to enable them to install and run the pre-created audit, create practice reports and support the clinical reviews at practice level.

Impact of Clinical Audit Solution
  • Saved the pharmacists time trawling data.
  • Efficiently identified key patients for review.
  • Enabled the CCG to align practice prescribing to CCG formulary.
  • Saved prescribing costs as result of prescription reviews.
  • Improved safe prescribing of strong opioids through reduced overprescribing.
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