4 Step Approach

The 4 Step Approach, designed by the Lincolnshire Opioids Clinical Reference Group, is a document detailing a patient centered guide for opioid prescribing.

A message from the Opioids in Non-Cancer Pain Clinical Reference Group (CRG):

Too many patients are currently prescribed long-term opioid therapy for chronic non-cancer pain. Often, there is no clear evidence of ongoing benefit, but there is significant risk of long-term harm.

A substantial element of this prescribing is historical, but we all have a responsibility to tackle the problem together. This does not mean stopping opioid therapy in a forced or non-consensual way but having open and collaborative conversations with our patients on a regular basis.

We understand that everybody is working within the context of limited time and resources. When reviewing patients on long-term opioid therapy, please take a few moments to consider whether ongoing treatment is recommended, effective, safe, and wanted by the patient. We hope our 4-step approach will aid in making this quicker, simpler, and more efficient. The CRG have spent the past 12-months developing community resources for patients and prescribers. You will find further details within this document.

Please do reach out with questions and feedback. We can provide a 1-hour lunchtime teaching session to any practice which requests it. This will be an opportunity to discuss the approach and how it could be embedded within your practice. It will also be a chance to ask questions and discuss complex cases.

We know that everybody is working hard, but the burden of opioid prescribing in Lincolnshire desperately needs to be tackled.

Thank you for reading.