SMMGP - Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Supporting good practice in drug and alcohol treatment

SMMGP News Archives - 2008

Please note that the older the news item the more likely it is that details such as contact names and addresses, or links to 3rd party web sites, may have changed.

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C View Newsletter Issue 1 Now Available

(Posted 29th December 2008)
A brand new Other Newsletters section has been added to the Resource Library for non-SMMGP newsletters.

The first publication to be added is "C View", the Greater Manchester Hepatitis C Strategy Newsletter.

Although this newsletter is Manchester specific, it contains a lot of information which is useful to everyone.

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December SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 18th December 2008)
The December SMMGP Clinical Update is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.

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SMMGP Policy Update - No One Written Off...

(Posted 8th December 2008)
The November SMMGP Policy Update is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section.

No One Written Off: Reforming Welfare to Reward Responsibility 2008

November's Policy Update is dedicated to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Green Paper 'No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility' and your response to it. The paper attempts to set out plans for improving support and work incentives to create a system that rewards responsibility and delivers greater choice and control over the support that is provided.

During the writing of this Policy Update a campaign was launched by PCS and Compass to challenge the proposed welfare reforms. To find out more about this campaign and to sign up to support their welfare statement visit www.pcs.org.uk/welfare.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.

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24th Edition of "Network" Now Online - Prison Special!

(Posted 5th December 2008)
Issue 24 of "Network", the SMMGP Newsletter, is now available to read online or download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format from the Newsletters section in the Resource Library.

This issue is a Prison Special Edition of Network, commissioned by the National Treatment Agency.

The introduction of the Integrated Drug Treatment System (IDTS) began the long-needed process of providing evidencebased drug treatment in prisons. Primary care is at the heart of the development of IDTS. PCTs now have responsibility for commissioning primary healthcare within prisons at a level equitable with community services, and the majority of prison healthcare treatment is provided by GPs. The issues of drug use, offending, social exclusion and poor health are intertwined and self-compounding, and primary healthcare in prison can offer an invaluable opportunity to treat not simply drug use, but also a range of other health problems.

Well over half of the current national prison population have a history of drug use and such a large population moving frequently between the prison and community settings is a significant challenge to the effective provision of a drug treatment system that is integrated between the prison and the wider community. A common complaint from community services is that patients are often released unplanned from prison and there is, therefore a view that some prison drug treatment services are disorganised and haphazard. In response prison drug treatment services often feel that by the nature of the rapid turnover in remand prisons that they initiate far more treatment interventions than an equivalent community based service.

We feel a need for greater awareness of the respective pressures in both community and prison drug services and feel that this view is reflected in this Special Edition. We have captured a full range of views of stakeholders including: service user advocates and service users; those involved in the development of policy; doctors who are delivering clinical IDTS services; prison pharmacists; the carers and relatives of drug users who are in prison; and those delivering IDTS psychosocial interventions within prison. A common theme throughout the articles is the general enthusiasm for the benefits IDTS brings to service users, their loved ones and carers, and professionals both in the prison and in the community.

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Paul Hayes "A View on Drug Treatment" Exclusive Preview

(Posted 2nd December 2008)
We are excited to preview an article entitled "A View on Drug Treatment" by Paul Hayes, Chief Executive of the National Treatment Agency, that will appear in Network 24.

He gives a view of drug treatment that explores the history of the development of treatment services and also examines the challenges that services face today - including the potential effects of the abstainance/maintenance debate, and the need to increase and evidence the quality of services.

We hope you enjoy this preview, which can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format:

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"Care Plans, NDTMS & TOPs..." Exclusive Preview

(Posted 20th November 2008)
We are please to preview an article entitled "Care Plans, NDTMS & TOPs: How They Can Adversely Affect Patient Care" by Jenny Keen, GPSI, Barnsley, that will appear in Network 25 in the new year.

SMMGP welcomes the National Treatment Agency's development of the Treatment Outcomes Profile (TOP) as a move away from simply measuring numbers in drug treatment, regardless of the quality of the treatment and a move towards measuring how people are benefiting, or not, from the treatment they receive. TOP was recently evaluated favourably by those who were responsible for the development of the tool (Marsden et al, 2008, Addiction 103:1450-1460).

However, SMMGP has been experiencing increasing reports from members and practitioners in the field regarding concerns about the implementation of TOP including:

Jenny's article expresses some of these concerns. We would welcome comments on this article and on TOPs on our Online Forums.

The article will appear in the next edition of Network, but here is a chance to read the full version first!

The article can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format:

Thanks to Jenny Keen for giving SMMGP this preview.

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"Caring for the Carers..." Exclusive Preview

(Posted 19th November 2008)
We are please to preview an article entitled "Caring for the Carers: A New Service for Doctors & Dentists" by Clare Gerada and Jane Haywood, that will appear in Network 25 in the new year. This piece outlines an important new London-based service for doctors and dentists experiencing mental and/or physical health problems, and substance misuse problems.

Doctors have higher rates of mental health problems and substance misuse problems than the general population, and may experience specific problems in asking for support. The Practitioner Health Project is a new service that seeks to overcome the barriers for doctors and dentists to access help and receive a full range of treatment options for physical and/or mental health and substance misuse problems. We feel that this is a valuable new service and hope that the Practitioner Health Project offers a model for other areas to take forward.

The article will appear in the next edition of Network, but here is a chance to read the full version first!

The article can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format:

Thanks to Clare Gerada and Jane Haywood for giving SMMGP this preview.

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New RCGP Conference Section Open

(Posted 15th November 2008)
A new RCGP Conference section is now available on the site. This area is dedicated to the annual RCGP Conference and includes full details of the 2009 Conference (programme, call for papers, booking form, etc.). Presentations and reports from previous years are also available.

The conference is the largest event in the UK for GPs, Shared Care Workers, Drug Users, Nurses and other Primary Care Staff, Specialists, Commissioners, and Researchers interested in, and involved with, the management of drug and alcohol users in Primary Care. Over 600 delegates attended in 2008 in Brighton.

You can access the new section via the golden link in the left-hand side floating menu, the text links at the foot of every page, the Site Map, or the search facility.

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SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates Now Available Online

(Posted 23rd October 2008)
A new SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section is now available in the Resource Library. This section contains online and downloadable versions of past SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates.

If you would like to receive these Updates via e-mail as soon as they are released, please join the SMMGP. Membership is completely free, you can join instantly online, and there are lots of benefits - see the Free SMMGP Membership Application page for more details.

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SMMGP 3rd National Conference Presentations Available

(Posted 21st October 2008)
Presentations from the SMMGP 3rd National Conference (Primary Care Drug Treatment - "End of the Line, or Part of the Journey?") are now available in the Conference Reports & Presentations section of the Resource Library.

The conference was well received, and 70 of the 112 delegates (62%) completed the Conference Evaluation Sheet...

Overall, how did you rate the Conference?

00 = Very Poor
00 = Poor
02 = Average
38 = Good
30 = Excellent

Further comments:

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Farewell to Jim Barnard

(Posted 16th October 2008)
After many years of hard work for SMMGP Jim Barnard has moved on to a new and exciting job managing cognitive behavioural therapies in primary care in Liverpool.

During his time with SMMGP Jim supported the development of primary care based drug treatment in almost every area in England, and built up an impressive and difficult-to-match body of knowledge. He was in many ways the public face of SMMGP, well known at conferences and also on the SMMGP online forums. He was also a great team player, a delight to work with, and cared passionately about good and compassionate care for drug users. He is greatly missed by his colleagues.

In recognition of his contribution to the drug field he was awarded a plaque engraved with the SMMGP, RCGP and NTA logos at the SMMGP Conference in September 2008.

Thanks for all your hard work Jim, and we wish you all the best in your new job.
SMMGP

Jim Barnard receiving his plaque at the SMMGP Conference
Jim Barnard receiving his plaque from Kate Halliday
and Chris Ford at the 2008 SMMGP Conference

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23rd Edition of "Network" Now Online

(Posted 5th August 2008)
Issue 23 of "Network", the SMMGP Newsletter, is now available to read online or download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format from the Newsletters section in the Resource Library.

This issue includes Mike Ashton's "A Flag in the Breeze" article following on from his excellent and challeging piece "The New Absentionists", and developing the discussion that took place at the recent Drugscope and Conference Consortium "Great Debate" Seminars (which took place to further the discussion concerning the way forward for drug treatment).

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Petition on behalf of Drs. Arash & Kamiar Alaei

(Posted 4th August 2008)
Drs. Arash and Kamiar Alaei from Iran have been detained in prison in Iran for over one month, without charges and with no communication with their family or lawyer.

The Alaei brothers are experts on HIV/AIDS and have worked for many years on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and harm reduction in Iran and internationally. They have been working closely with colleagues in neighboring countries as well as in the Middle East and North Africa. One of their medical clinics has been cited by WHO as a model of best practice in the treatment of AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and drug addiction.

Arash was scheduled to give two presentations at the upcoming International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference in Mexico City. The IAS has issued a statement calling for their release.

Physicians for Human Rights, along with several other organizations and individuals concerned with global health and human rights are calling on the government of Iran to end the incommunicado detention of Drs. Arash and Kamiar Alaei.

A web site has been set up where you can learn more or sign the petition.

In just a few days, more than 1200 people have signed on. A microsite for more information on the Alaei's case is at IranFreetheDocs.org.

Physicians for Human Rights is organizing several activities in support of the Alaeis at the AIDS conference and would like to have have as many supporters from all over the world involved. If you are going to the conference and would like to participate in the advocacy, please contact Sarah Kalloch.

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SMMGP Annual Reports Now Online

(Posted 3rd July 2008)
A new Annual Reports page has been added to the About Us section of the web site. Here you can download copies of our Annual Reports from 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.

Further reports will be added when they become available.

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Missing Newsletters, SMMGP Updates & Other E-mails

(Posted 30th June 2008)
We have found that a very small number of SMMGP Members and Forum users may not be receiving the e-mails they expect from the SMMGP. In the case of Members, this may include requested e-mail copies of the Network Newsletters and/or SMMGP Updates. In the case of Forum users it may include initial Registration Validation e-mails, or requested Forum Notification e-mails.

There are many possible reasons why this might happen, including the following:

Unfortunately, none of the above issues are within SMMGP's control and there is usually no indication of anything having gone wrong i.e. we can't tell whether or not the e-mails arrive successfully.

If you think you may not be receiving SMMGP e-mails for any reason, please contact us for advice on how to proceed.

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NW Medication Assisted Recovery Forum Presentations

(Posted 23rd June 2008)
The following presentations from the North West Medication Assisted Recovery Forum, held on 6th June 2008, are now available in the Conference Reports & Presentations section of the Resource Library:

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"A Flag in the Breeze" Exclusive Preview

(Posted 2nd June 2008)
Mike Ashton hoists a small flag in to Britain's addiction treatment policy breeze!

We have an exclusive preview of an article from Mike Ashton following on from his excellent and challeging piece "The New Absentionists", and developing the discussion that took place at the recent Drugscope and Conference Consortium "Great Debate" Seminars (which took place to further the discussion concerning the way forward for drug treatment).

The article will appear in the next edition of Network, and a shorter version will apear in the upcoming edition of DrugLINK, but here is a chance to read the full version first!

The article can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format:

Thanks to Mike Ashton and Drugscope for giving SMMGP this preview.

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22nd Edition of "Network" Available Online

(Posted 5th May 2008)
Issue 22 of "Network", the SMMGP Newsletter, is now available to read online or download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format from the Newsletters section in the Resource Library.

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RCGP 13th National Conference Review

(Posted 1st May 2008)
The 13th National Management of Drug Users in Primary Care Conference
Meeting the needs of diverse populations: hard to reach or easy to ignore?
24th - 25th April 2008. The Brighton Centre, Brighton

This was an exciting and challenging event, enhanced by the wonderful backdrop of the waves on Brighton's seafront. Delegates were asked, "is there such a thing as a hard to reach group, or are services difficult to access?" The consensus was that providers need to do more to make access to services easier, and this will involve listening to all groups of the communities they serve, in particular those who are the most socially excluded. The role of service users, and members of excluded groups are particularly important in achieving this as several of the excellent presentations showed, including Anna Millington's talk on working with parents and their children, Lyn Matthew's presentation on drugs and sex working, Abd Al-Rahaman's talk on working with all populations, and the research conducted by the Counted4 Peer Research Team showed.

Martyn Glynn argued that we as service providers also have an important role in "cultural brokerage" with our communities, suggesting that we do not have to come from the same cultural group as our communities in order to communicate, but that we do need to have the capacity to listen and to understand the communities we provide a service for, and to adapt our services to provide a flexible response to meet the needs of all sections of our communities.

All the major sessions were rated highly, in particular the Steroids and Stimulant session with Jim McVeigh who explained the public health aspects of steroids (Action man will never be the same again - to understand visit the Conference Reports & Presentations section of this web site to read the report when it becomes available in the near future) and Matt Cope giving a personal view of stimulant use.

Question Time worked well with lots of lively discussion from the panel of Hugo Luck (NTA) Sebastian Saville (Release) Anna Milligton (Independent Consultant and User Activist) and Fran Davis (GPwSI). The floor raised a range of current topics from the "drugs world" such as lack of hepatitis C treatment, the lack of emphasis on alcohol, legislation of drugs and much more.

As always there were a range of excellent workshops, many of which in true "workshop" style were challenging and thought provoking. There was a high quality of paper presentations at this year's Conference, an area that we are aiming to develop further at next year's event - so please consider developing a paper over the coming year that you can submit! We were also very pleased that there was an increase in submissions of films and other media, with practitioners finding a variety of ways to use film and CD Rom as training and educational tools. This year's evening event was particularly lively (and pink and sparkly!) with a packed dance floor into the small hours of the morning.

So put the date of May 14th and 15th 2009 in your diaries for the 14th conference in Liverpool. The working title is "Working with drug users in primary care 'Family medicine - cradle to grave'" with sessions on young people, the meaning of recovery, working with children (not just focusing on child protection), pensioners, families and much much more. So start thinking of good speakers, including yourselves, and those papers you are going to submit now!

Conference presentations & notes will be available as soon as possible in the Conference Reports & Presentations section.

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Results of SMMGP Web Site Survey 2008

(Posted 8th Apr 2008)
The results from the recent SMMGP Web Site User Survey are now available, and can be seen on the About the SMMGP Web Site page.

Amongst other things, we received a lot of constructive comments and suggestions as to how the site might be improved, as well as many possible additions for the Links section. All of these ideas and suggestions are being considered as part of the site's continuing development.

Please see the About the SMMGP Web Site page for full details of the survey results, and a comparison with a similar surveys conducted in 2005 and 2007.

We would like to say "thank you" to everyone who took part in the survey.

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New Postal Address for SMMGP

(Posted 1st Apr 2008)
The SMMGP offices have now moved, and our new postal address is as follows:

SMMGP
c/o National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse
8th Floor
Hercules House
Hercules Road
London SE1 7DU

This address is effective immediately!

For full contact details, please see the Contact Us page.

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Don't Forget to Book for the RCGP 13th National Conference!

(Posted 28th Mar 2008)
RCGP 13th National Conference: Management of Drug Users in Primary Care
Meeting the Needs of Diverse Populations - Hard to Reach or Easy to Ignore?

24-25 April 2008, Brighton Centre, Brighton

The conference is the largest event in the UK for GPs, shared care workers, drug users, nurses and other primary care staff, specialists, commissioners, and researchers interested in, and involved with, the management of drug users in primary care.

The conference

This year's conference helps us meet the needs of groups who are excluded: the homeless, sex workers, people from black and ethnic minority groups, and older people. With the increasing experience of primary care in drug treatment, we believe this is a challenge that we can meet. We shall also look at the needs of other groups it is easy to forget, for example steroid users, stimulant users and the children of drug users.

Yet again we have a full and varied programme of talks, special interest sessions and films, with ample time to discuss and question not only the presenters, but also to question our own attitudes and prejudices.

Primary care in conjunction with shared care is as always the solid platform from which we can expand and push the boundaries of our confidence and knowledge. It is now time to consider how to provide services for those who have not been included, and come to a deeper understanding of what has led them to be excluded.

We look forward to seeing you as part of the mix of doctors, patients, carers and colleagues in this field, at the conference centre in Brighton.

For further information, please see the Courses & Events page.

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ANSA Conference Prices Revised to Enable More to Attend

(Posted 6th Mar 2008)
In the past 3 months there have been significant documents released from the NTA, Department of Health and NICE:

Substance Misuse Nursing has never been higher on the agenda.

In light of this the Association of Nurses in Substance Abuse (ANSA) have significantly reduced the cost of their 2008 National Conference, keeping the price as low as possible to enable more nurses and allied professionals to attend. The conference is open to all professionals in health, social care and criminal justice services with an interest in substance misuse.

The revised cost is just £39.00 per person, plus £10 per person for accommodation if required.

The conference is being held 27-28 March, at Chester University. Attend and help influence the future of Nursing in Substance Misuse!

For further information, please see the Courses & Events page, or the ANSA web site.

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21st Edition of the "Network" Newsletter Available

(Posted 5th Mar 2008)
Issue 21 of "Network", the SMMGP Newsletter, is now available to read online or download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format from the Newsletters section in the Resource Library.

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SMMGP Web Site Survey 2008

(Posted 27th Feb 2008)
We try hard to ensure that the SMMGP web site provides the best service it can... you can help us achieve this by completing a very short and completely anonymous SMMGP Web Site Survey.

The survey consists of just 6 questions with tick-box answers, although there's room for you to add comments as well if you have any suggestions or want to mention something about the site which has been bothering you.

The survey will only be available unil Sunday 16 March 2008, so please complete it as soon as possible!

We will post the results of the survey on the site following completion, and use the them to help guide the future development of the site.

Your help is very much appreciated.

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Consultation Draft of NTA Clinical Governance Guidance

(Posted 24th Feb 2008)
Clinical governance is an increasingly important quality and safety assurance framework for all drug treatment providers (not just those in the NHS) and commissioners.

Consultation on draft guidance

The NTA has published a consultation draft of guidance on clinical governance in drug treatment. There are important issues about how clinical governance can work across complex drug treatment systems and how this can be helpful to drug treatment services and their commissioners.

The following documents are available on the NTA web site:

Responses to the consultation MUST be submitted on the proforma by 14 May 2008.

Please see the NTA web site for further details.

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New SMMGP Member Survey Results Section

(Posted 1st Jan 2008)
We have added a brand new section to the Resource Library called SMMGP Member Survey Results.

Results included in this section so far are:

If you would like to be able to take part in similar surveys, why not become a member of SMMGP. It's completely free, and there are lots of benefits to joining. See the SMMGP Membership Form for more details.