East Cheshire, Greater Manchester

Patient Safety Collaborative - Medicines

The National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes (NatPatSIPs) three programmes of work collectively form the largest safety initiative in the history of the NHS. They support a culture of safety, continuous learning and sustainable improvement across the healthcare system.

Over 0.5 million people in England are prescribed opioid analgesia for longer than 3 months, the majority having chronic pain that is not associated with cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance states that opioids should not be offered to manage chronic non-cancer pain as harm out-weighs the benefit.​

Opioids are a highly effective class of analgesics and, when used judiciously, are of great benefit to many people living with pain. ​However, in the case of ‘chronic non-cancer pain’, when the source of long-term pain does not have a cause that can be treated, opioids can do more harm than good, particularly when used at higher doses.​

By end of March 2024, we anticipate that 30,000 fewer people are prescribed oral or transdermal opioids (of any dose) for more than 3 months (NNH 62) compared to 31st March 2023, preventing ~484 deaths.

Measured using:

  • ePACT2 national and local data.
  • Local qualitative and quantitative measures and case studies.

At least 15 ICBs, with an aspiration for 50% of ICBs, are progressing through the phases of a whole systems approach and providing visible and sustainable system leadership of the programme.


The Medicines Optimisation Community of Practice (CoP) allows for collaboration over a shared passion to minimise harm to patients.

It is an opportunity to share perspectives, learning and lived experience to address:

  • Problematic Polypharmacy
  • Deprescribing
  • Medicines Safety
  • Medicines Optimisation

We’re seeking prescribers from primary and secondary care – including GP’s; patients, commissioners, and community pharmacists to get involved and help reduce potential harm from the administration of multiple medications and support effective dialogue between patients and healthcare teams.


Recording – Community of Practice – Health Inequalities – January 2024

Recording – Community of Practice – Continuity of Care in relation to Medicines Management on discharge – October 2023  

Slide Deck – Community of Practice – October 2023  

Recording – Community of Practice – Social Prescribing – July 2023  

Key Insights – Community of Practice – July 2023   

Greater Manchester healthcare professionals have collaborated to design the Greater Manchester Pain Management Resources Hub that gathers helpful tools and resources in one place. The Hub brings together a variety of useful resources including guidance to support effective consultations, patient self-management information to share, clinician aids and tools, shared learning and education, how to use data to understand the local population, and information to access related services across the conurbation.

“Pain Killers” do not stop pain, they mask it, and prolonged use can lead to lasting harm including addiction. Healthcare professionals can use the new NHS Greater Manchester Pain Management Resources Hub to support their patients to safely reduce opioids and identify alternatives. Take a look and explore more here: Greater Manchester Pain Management Resources Hub and you can find instructions on using the Hub here.

Here's what some of our clinical colleagues think about the Greater Manchester Pain Management Resources Hub:

Case Studies

Primary Care Knowledge Boost Podcast on Chronic Pain


If you have any questions the Medicines Safety Improvement Programme please contact: PMOSupport@healthinnovationmanchester.com

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