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Our Work


Opioids, such as morphine and codeine, are a type of pain relief medication. There is little evidence to support the routine use of opioids for pain that is chronic (lasting more than three months and often termed on-going pain) that  is not cancer related. There are also serious harms and risks of dependency associated with opioids when taken long-term or at higher doses.

For this type of pain, there are often more effective approaches that may not involve medication.  The National Medicines Safety Improvement Programme estimates that for every 62 patients with chronic pain who can be supported with alternatives to long-term opioid medication, one life can be saved.

Joined Up Care Derbyshire was identified as being one of the  highest prescribing areas of opioids in the midlands region, so we are working in collaboration with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network and our system partners to work collaboratively as a system with the vision statement: “ To support people to live well with chronic non-cancer pain whilst minimising the harm from opioids”.

Last year, Tony Jamieson, the England Patient Safety Specialist & Clinical Improvement Lead for the Medicines Safety Improvement Programme at NHS England, visited Joined Up Care Derbyshire (JUCD), to hear about its collaborative work with East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (EMAHSN), supporting a systems approach to reducing harm from opioids for people living with chronic non-cancer pain. Find out more about Tony’s visit.

Our mission and Vision Statement;











Our work so far;

We aim to support a personalised approach to the management of chronic pain so that patients can access support in a way suits them. This may include self-management advice, sign-posting through this website, access to pain management programmes and peer support, voluntary groups and linking in with Social Prescribers and Health and Well-being coaches. This is in addition to the clinical support provided by your general practice and specialist services.

To support this approach in Joined Up Care Derbyshire we created a ‘Pain Management Collaborative’.  This is a network of people interested in supporting people with pain, or living with pain themselves (or their carers) from across the system.  This group helps to set the agenda and actions to work on.  The diagram below shows how this works in practice.











The two delivery groups have already taken forward the implementation of the following initiatives;

  • A tapering guideline to help prescribers reduce opioid medicines
  • Training for healthcare professionals to undertake the ‘Live Well With Pain – Ten Footsteps’ practitioner training
  • Supporting the roll out of pain management courses and drop in sessions. Here is a short video about the Here is a short video about the Lister House Surgery Pain Management Support Group.
  • A patient information leaflet to support patients prescribed short term opioids after discharge from hospital
  • A policy for prescribing of opioid medication on discharge from hospital
  • A Pain Management Webpage on the Joined Up Care Derbyshire website

Over the next year, we aim to :

  • Continue to support clinicians across Derby and Derbyshire to undertake training that will upskill them to support those living with chronic pain
  • Create a set of repeat prescribing standards to support a safe opioid prescribing system for both Practice staff and patients
  • Map pain management pathways by following patient journey through hospital discharge to care in the community setting in order to review and improve
  • Develop screening tools to aid early identification of risk for dependence


Get involved

This work requires a whole system approach and we need involvement from all our partners across Joined Up Care Derbyshire. If you work within pain management services, support people living with chronic pain, or live with chronic pain and are interested in getting involved in this work please email

Patient Videos

Michelle Butler and Paul Hemsil, who both have experience of chronic pain, share in these short videos what matters to them when it comes to their pain journey.

Last Updated: Tuesday 5th March 2024 - 9:46:am

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