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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Lois Dugmore and Saskia Bauweraerts

This paper aims to discuss an initiative developed between, Leicestershire Partnership National Health Service Trust and Turning Point, which is the locally commissioned…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss an initiative developed between, Leicestershire Partnership National Health Service Trust and Turning Point, which is the locally commissioned drug and alcohol service in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The aim was to improve outcomes for clients with dual diagnosis (co-occurring mental health and substance misuse) issues. The purpose of the change in working practice was to engage with local substance misuse agencies more effectively to improve clinical outcomes within this service user group. This was achieved through four interrelated approaches. This comprising providing an integrated service. It included building relationships with substance misuse services, providing specialist dual diagnosis clinics and the introduction of substance misuse workers onto mental health wards and group work specific to substance misuse. The outcomes included easier access to services for service users and greater uptake of service users who were moving onto substance misuse services. This led to a reduction in risk related to prescribing and fewer incidents related to prescribing changes and greater engagement in services. When service users were moving between services better communication led to prescriptions being transferred with no delay and to reduced dropout rates in service. There was improved access to substance misuse services, more referrals and take up of service taking place. There was a greater understanding by staff of co-occurring substance misuse and how to work with this client group. Closer working relationship with substance misuse services and shared skills led to greater confidence in managing this service user group. This demonstrates a cost effective service that can be replicated within similar settings.

Design/methodology/approach

In clinical practice, shared treatment has proved challenging in light of different service models (Laker, 2006). Substance misuse works on the premise of change comes from the individual, where recovery models in mental health offer a formalised approach. One of the challenges faced by services has been the inability for mental health services to recruit and services become overstretched (Rimmer, 2018); this gave an opportunity for a new method of working to be considered. This led to the development of a new service model.

These changes were:

• Improving the interface with substance misuse services to improve access to community substance misuse services for mental health clients.

• To provide specialist staff within the dual diagnosis field to provide a clinic jointly with local drug and alcohol services.

• Introduction of substance misuse workers as team members on acute mental health and rehab wards.

• Group Substance Misuse programmes.

Findings

Working within an integrated model, yet maintaining separate organisations, by offering joint training and clinics has led to a greater understanding of each organisation’s work and increased engagement within the service user group.The introduction of substance misuse workers to acute and rehab mental health inpatient services encouraged service users to engage at the point of admission and to be referred into locally commissioned substance misuse services prior to the point of discharge. Engagement with staff has demonstrated better engagement with substance service by service users following discharge.For clients able to take leave assessment could take place prior to discharge. This led to an increased uptake in services. Due to no opiate substitution given on discharge decreased risk of prescribed medication overdose at point of discharge and led to increase in returning straight to substance misuse services. This meant that service users received medication quicker and the right dose and on discharge ensured reduced risk. The prescribing of Naloxone at discharge is yet to be assessed, but the risk of an overdose within seven days is well-documented and Naloxone is key in reversing this trend. This change in practice can be replicated in any mental health setting and has increased access to services for those using substances.

Originality/value

Is original no other services have substance workers or joint clinics across the UK. First inpatient unit to welcome patients back post-discharge to attend groups.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 September 2013

Lois Dugmore

The main aim of this paper is to highlight innovative partnership working between voluntary sector General Practitioner's and primary and secondary mental health services…

278

Abstract

Purpose

The main aim of this paper is to highlight innovative partnership working between voluntary sector General Practitioner's and primary and secondary mental health services to improve access to services. Many clients are turned away from services when they disclose substance use, this paper discusses why clients are excluded and how psychological therapies can engage clients in treatment using an alternative approach to health centres. It identifies the need for agencies to have multiple skills in working with both mental health and substance use to provide access to services.

Design/methodology/approach

The improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) group was developed to work with clients using psychological interventions to create, a more flexible approach to services for substance users with psychological difficulties and so the IAPT group was developed. To ensure group's stability it was thought that consistent staff from both organisations should remain in the programme for its duration. To ensure adequate staffing, two staff from the drug agency and three staff from the IAPT team were identified and had shown a firm commitment to work on the programme, and it was agreed that two staff were present at each meeting. The voluntary sector agency premises were chosen as the venue, due to their proximity to bus routes and the anonymity of the service location. The group convened for a period of six weeks and would be a closed group (start with the same group members and have no changes during the groups duration). This would allow clients to engage, work together and to gain confidence in supporting each other. It also allowed clients to work with existing group dynamics and to set boundaries. Establishing the group it was important that it met in the afternoon to allow clients to arrive. The group started at 1 p.m., and worked through until 4 p.m., starting with coffee and having a break within the afternoon. Time was also allocated at the end to talk to staff or other group members about any concerns. The programme included workbooks and hand outs to help clients continue the process at home. Information packs were given including helpline numbers and service information. The group was based using cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, mindfulness and dialectical behavioural therapy. Some motivational interviewing techniques and harm reduction messages as well as relapse prevention were included.

Findings

Half the group reported that they had reduced their drug use, two went on to join group programmes. In total, 100 per cent agreed to continue to meet and support each other in a less formal setting. The group felt strongly that it should remain only about cannabis and not to introduce other drugs into the group. All clients felt the group should be a 12-week programme the staff running the group concurred with this. All participants felt the group was helpful but could have been 12 weeks, that it reduced their symptoms and enabled them to interact with others who understood their needs. Peer support was highlighted as the most useful. Two participants entered other drug programmes after the group. All participants associated their substance use with their mood.

Originality/value

There are no other projects that have worked outside the IAPT model that integrate substance users and voluntary sector agencies. Provides a unique view of multi agency approach using IAPT in a non–General Practitioner setting with clients normally excluded from IAPT services due to drug use. Is about inclusion of a normally excluded group.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

Content available
544

Abstract

Details

Advances in Dual Diagnosis, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0972

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2009

Abstract

Details

Advances in Dual Diagnosis, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0972

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