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HSCQI hosts an Opioid Improvement Programme Stakeholder Engagement Workshop

9 August 2023

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The HSCQI Medication Safety Collaborative Opioid Improvement Programme’s first event took place recently. Representatives from Secondary and Primary Care, which included staff from Trusts, GP Practices, Community Pharmacy, SPPG, PHA, DoH and the community and voluntary sector came together to engage, learn and share.  This improvement programme is a joint partnership between HSCQI and Transforming Medication Safety in Northern Ireland (TMSNI) Programme Team.

Prof Cathy Harrison and Dr Aideen Keaney

Prof Cathy Harrison and Dr Aideen Keaney

Dr Aideen Keaney, Director HSCQI in welcoming participants to the workshop commented:

“The HSCQI Medication Safety Collaborative Programme will create the conditions for successful system-wide collaboration to help identify challenges, share best practice and implement solutions that will enhance medication safety throughout the entire patient journey. The workshop participants bring expert knowledge and understanding about opioid prescribing in the management of non-malignant pain and today will inform future plans for improvement.”




The workshop provided delegates with the opportunity to hear from a number of subject matter experts.  It provided the local context for improving opioids prescribing for non-malignant pain management, which is aligned to one of the commitments of the TMSNI Strategy.  Delegates also heard from local, national and international perspectives about challenges and examples of best practice from those working in health and social care settings, community and voluntary and academia. Via video links, the audience heard from service users who spoke about their lived experience of taking part in Better Days pain support programme and a GP Pharmacist who led an opioid reduction programme, describing how these had made a positive impact on their functioning and quality of life.

Professor Cathy Harrison, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Department of Health spoke about the Transforming Medication Safety in Northern Ireland Programme (TMSNI) and the opportunities to improve outcomes for patients:

“Today’s workshop is the beginning of a new collaboration between the TMSNI Programme and the HSCQI Hub and Network. Over the coming months they will be working together to develop and implement a regional quality improvement programme that aims to reduce harm from opioid prescribing for non-malignant pain management.”

She added

“Establishing and implementing an improvement programme focused on safer opioid prescribing will of course be a challenge however, by working together I have no doubt that we can start to deliver transformative system wide change for the safety for all our patients across Northern Ireland.”

HSCQI Hub Team and TMSNI Team

HSCQI Hub Team and TMSNI Team

The workshop also enabled networking opportunities. Participants left with an invitation to nominate project teams from their organisations to participate in the regional opioid improvement collaborative programme, due to commence 25th October 2023.  The programme will create the collaborative conditions for project teams from Primary and Secondary Care to share, learn and make improvements focused on opioid prescribing for non-malignant pain management.  Participants will have the opportunity to attain a certificate in Level 2 Quality Improvement (QI) Training, aligned to the standards of HSCNI Q2020 Attributes Framework, thereby building QI capacity and capability across HSC.

Q2020 Attributes_Page 6 for Level 2



Project Teams from Primary and Secondary Care settings wanting to register for the Opioid Improvement Collaborative Programme are invited to register by 5pm Thursday 14th September, 2023. Teams can register via the QR code below.

QR code to register

For more information about the Opioid Improvement Collaborative Programme please contact Domenica Gilroy, Senior Regional Improvement Advisor, HSCQI on

You can keep up to date with HSCQI News on Twitter @HSCQI or the HSCQI website