The role of the annual review in opiate abuse: A primary care quality and evidence audit

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 10 June 2019

Miss Rebecca Lefroy

Funding: This project was performed under the University of Manchester as a part of Manchester Medical School curriculum. No external funding was provided.

Role: This project was designed by me and one of the practice partners to look at what the role of the annual review was in this practice and how successfully it was being performed. The project, research and report were all completed bv myself, with the guidance of the practice partner. The transformation of this project into a poster and presentation was assisted by Dr Watts, a consultant within this field.

Abstract: Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug, acting on the μ opioid receptors of the body, mimicking the action of heroin. Methadone is an effective adjunctive therapy in heroin addiction. It is given with the intention of removing heroin use, before a gradual detoxification. This aim is opioid-free patients. This benefits the individual, but also removes their enormous health and financial burden inflicted on the NHS. Methadone is the ‘gold standard’ of treatment, providing similar systemic effects (but longer duration) to heroin.

Previously, addiction management has been by specialist clinicians. However, with the evolving NHS, responsibility for opioid addicts is being transferred into primary care, part of the Shared Care initiative. This change transfers not only the medical and pharmaceutical care, but also the care of patient’s social and mental well-being.

Problematic drug users attend medication and health reviews regularly. The significant increases in morbidity and mortality associated with illicit opioid use mean it is vital that patients’ risk factors are assessed, at least, annually. Assessments can be used to alter the patient’s care though writing/adaptation of care plans. These plans provide insight into the patient’s current and future


Dr Susan Mary Elizabeth Abercrombie (Supervised By) Dr Derret Watts (Advised By) Work carried out: Oswald Medical Practice 4 Oswald Road, Chorlton Cum Hardy, Manchester, M21 9LH

Awarded: First prize


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Miss Rebecca Lefroy