Benzodiazepine and Opiate Withdrawal Service (BOWS)

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Islington
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The Benzodiazepine and Opiate Withdrawal Service (BOWS) aims to provide specialist support for people who are being prescribed benzodiazepines and opiates by their GP and are seeking additional support to reduce and/or stop their use.

Set in GP surgeries in Camden and Islington, the specialist team works alongside the GP to identify and help patients that are on long-term repeat prescriptions of benzodiazepines, sleeping tablets and opiates and help them to develop the skills necessary to stop their medication and manage any underlying issues, while overseeing the reduction regimes for those who wish to reduce or stop their medications.

The following support is offered:

  • Medication reviews and follow ups: Full medication reviews and regular follow up appointments throughout engagement with the service.
  • Pain clinics: Joint working and access to support and treatment options with Camden and Islington Pain Management Services. 
  • Specialist psychosocial support: Access to psychology, support groups, counselling, advice and information and health and wellbeing educational courses.
  • Insomnia clinic: Referral to the Insomnia Clinic and access to their specialist treatment and support interventions.

Availability in Islington is as follows:

  • Goodinge Group Practice
  • Mildmay Medical Practice
  • Killick Street Health Centre
  • Mitchison Road Surgery
  • City Road Medical Centre
  • Clerkenwell Medical Practice
  • Partnership Primary Care Centre
  • St John's Way Medical Centre
  • The Family Practice (Dr Bowry's)
  • Ritchie Street Group Practice

Eligibility criteria

Inclusions

  • adult patients being regularly prescribed benzodiazepines, sleeping tablets and opiates

Exclusions

  • those receiving palliative care

How to refer

The following clinicians can refer to this service: GPs

Directly by email

GPs can refer suitable patients by email or by booking them into a clinic.

e: bows.referrals@nhs.net

The service then invites all suitable patients to attend an assessment by letter.

If a GP would like us to assess a patient where we have not yet established a clinic, we can assess the patient at one of the service hubs and feedback to the GP the outcome of the assessment.