It's been a packed year...
New treatment options! New groups! New ways of working! A whole new service on the horizon! At Spectrum CGL we've had a busy 2018.
We've been pleased to see more signs of visible recovery than ever in our hubs, with ex-clients going on to play a massive role in service user involvement, volunteering and employment with us.
In September, we were delighted to be awarded the contract to deliver the new all-ages substance misuse service in Hertfordshire and in October we put the finishing touches on our service-wide redesign we started back in 2017 with the opening of a new satellite service in Cheshunt.
Elsewhere we've been determined to fight drug-related harms and improve health outcomes for people in Hertfordshire, with the expanded roll-out of take-home naloxone to 28 community pharmacies, the delivery of Hepatitis C treatment within our hubs and the launch of our national Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) toolkit.
Read on for more from the last 3 months.
International Men's Day - November 19th
Our Stevenage staff handed out 30+ wellbeing packs (yorkie bars, deodorant, men's health advice) and flyers to help highlight some of the specific issues men can face and encourage open dialogue between our male service users.
Alcohol awareness week 2018
During alcohol awareness week, our teams took the opportunity to engage in alcohol mythbusting with service users, motivation-mapping and learning how to mix alternative alcohol-free mocktails to prepare for the potential difficulties of staying sober during the upcoming holidays.
Hatfield open day - November 29th
This year we were joined by 40+ visitors at our Hatfield service for our annual open day.
Professionals and the wider public got the opportunity to meet the team, get advice for themselves or their clients on how to treat substance addiction and hear from recent carers about their treatment experience.
Professor Schifano delivers opiate lecture
Spectrum Hatfield doctor and NPS expert Fabrizio Schifano delivered a patient-focused lecture around the desired effects of opiates, implications of "on top" use and the future of substitute prescribing to staff, local GPs and other clinicians on December 12th. You can read his presentation here.
Christmas & New Years opening times
Our opening times this year are available to download here. Our hubs are only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New year's Day.
However, we're still operating our out-of-hours contact number during these times in case of emergencies: 0800 652 3169
Family Safeguarding Team in 2018
The Family Safeguarding Team (which our recovery workers are a part of) continues to succeed after the praise it received in The Guardian at the end of last year. They recently earned a shout-out for the high "quality of partner working" and for "improving outcomes and reducing risks" in Ofsted's October 2018 report.
Our recovery workers in the team have also piloted a new 8-week Parenting Recovery Programme catering specifically for those using drugs or alcohol who are on a 'Child in Need' or 'Child Protection' plan.
The initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we will be continuing the programme in the New Year.
Lucy Sheppard talks about Hospital Liaison
Our team covers a range of different facilities including general hospitals, mental health and acute day treatment units. In Watford General and The Lister, we have one nurse and one brief intervention worker. In the mental health hospitals and facilities we have 2 part-time brief intervention workers.
If a person presents to hospital with alcohol or drug-related symptoms, hospital staff refer the patient to our on-site staff. We will then work with the patient throughout their stay to support them to achieve their treatment goals and organise post-discharge follow-up if needed.
We regularly assess patients who have a dual mental health and substance misuse diagnosis, and in the general hospitals, we have developed a Joint Outpatient Clinic with the hospital mental health team which has been very beneficial to these patients. In addition, we work closely with the hospital to reduce the number of frequent attenders and save bed space.
Working within the Hospital Liaison Service is very rewarding; it allows us to support hospital staff to work with and treat patients with substance issues, and actively reduce the stigma associated with addiction. We support patients to reach their recovery goals, whether that be engaging with the community team, or accessing alternative support. We often see patients in crisis, whether that be physical or mental health crisis, so engagement can be quite challenging but we're able to deliver much-needed harm reduction advice and can fast-track a patient's referral into the local community services.
Lucy Sheppard is the Team Leader for the Hospital Liaison Service. You can get in touch with her via Lucy.Sheppard@cgl.org.uk
Upcoming - 2019
Text message appointment reminders
From February 2019 we will be sending automated text message reminders to our service users.
Messages will be sent confirming that the appointment has been booked and sent again 24 hours before they are due to take place
The Metropolitan Police have issued an alert regarding the seizure of ’significant’ quantities of fake Percocet tablets that contained fentanyl and no other psychoactive drug.
Click here for harm reduction advice for people who use or may encounter fentanyl.
3,756 people in England and Wales tragically lost their lives as a result of drug poisoning in 2017.
Find out about our campaign to fight these deaths.
Letter regarding the numbers in treatment
Change grow live wrote to The Guardian highlighting the fall in the number of people who were treated for addiction in England last year, which is deeply worrying.