SMMGP - Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Supporting good practice in drug and alcohol treatment

SMMGP News Archives - 2012

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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November-December 2012 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 05 December 2012)
The November-December SMMGP 2012 Policy 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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World AIDS Day 1 December 2012

(Posted 29 November 2012)
NAT (National Aids Trust) is the UK's leading charity dedicated to transforming spciety's response to HIV, and is a key promoter of World AIDS Day within the UK. NAT says...

"World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

"More than 90,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK and globally an estimated 33.3 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

"Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others from HIV, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is important as it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away - there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

"World AIDS Day is an opportunity for you to learn the facts about HIV and put your knowledge into action. Find out how much you know by taking our online quiz: Are you HIV aware?"

If you'd like to see what events are taking place, please see www.worldaidsday.org.

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Publication of the NICE Drug Use Disorders Quality Standard

(Posted 20 November 2012)
The NICE "Drug Use Disorders" quality standard (QS23) has now been published on the NICE website. Steve Brinksman, SMMGP Clinical Lead and Birmingham GP, was part of the expert group responsible for developing this standard, which is fully endorsed by SMMGP.

This quality standard defines clinical best practice within the topic area. It provides specific, concise quality statements, measures and audience descriptors to provide the public, health and social care professionals, commissioners and service providers with definitions of high-quality care.

This standard covers the treatment of adults (18 years or over) who misuse opioids, cannabis, stimulants or other drugs in all settings in which care is received, in particular inpatient and specialist residential and community-based treatment settings. This includes related organisations such as prison services and the interface with other services, for example those provided by the voluntary sector.

You can view the quality standard on the NICE website by following the link below:

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October-November SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 15 November 2012)
The October-November 2012 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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LHIB London IBA Practitioners' Network Seeks New Members

(Posted 12 November 2012)
The London Health Improvement Board (LHIB) Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) Practitioners' Network forms part of the LHIB alcohol workstrand to promote early intervention.

In summary, the aim of the Network is to establish a group of professionals to act as leaders and a support network for practitioner roles with the opportunity to deliver Identification and Brief Advice (IBA). Such practitioners are not drug or alcohol workers, rather health, social and other roles who have the opportunity to deliver IBA.

As GPs, Practice Nurses, Health Care Assistants, Pharmacists and supporting staff are an essential group for the delivery of IBA, they would like to reach out to these roles across London and invite them to join the Network.

An invitation document for such roles to join the Network can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format:

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SMMGP 7th National Conference Presentations & Notes Now Online

(Posted 06 November 2012)
Presentations, workshop notes and other documents from the highly successful SMMGP 7th National Conference (held in London, 25 October 2012) are now available from the Conference Reports & Presentations section.

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SMMGP Joins the Blogosphere

(Posted 02 November 2012)
SMMGP has now joined the Blogosphere! The inaugural posting is by SMMGP Policy & Development Manager Kate Halliday. Entitled "We must act now to secure the future of primary care based drug and alcohol treatment", the post was prompted by the unprecedented air of concern about the future of primary care based drug and alcohol treatment evident at the recent SMMGP Conference.

We invite you to share your thoughts and comments...

Visit the SMMGP Blog Now!

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Challenging Stigma: New Adfam Report

(Posted 01 November 2012)
Adfam has launched a new report "Challenging stigma: tackling the prejudice experienced by the families of drug and alcohol users".

This report looks at drug and alcohol-related stigma through the eyes of the family - not just parents, but partners, children and siblings too. They can all be abandoned by friends, isolated by workmates and even cut off by other family members.

The report aims to improve awareness and understanding of how stigma affects families and drive forward both the availability of support for them, and their confidence in coming forward knowing they will not be judged.

Vivienne Evans OBE, Adfam's Chief Executive, commented:

"Anyone with first-hand experience of drug and alcohol misuse will understand the devastating impact it has on families. No other health problem faces the level of prejudice encountered by the families we support. It is time we buried our old assumptions and started to be more accepting and open to family members who come forward for support.

"The best way to combat stigma is for families to speak up, realise they are not alone and reach out to local support often offered by families in the same position as they are."

The report features a "personal perspective" by Steve Brinksman, SMMGP Clinical Lead and Birmingham GP (see page 12).

The report can be downloaded from the AdFam web site, as well as below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format and from the Other Resources section.

For more information, please see the AdFam web site.

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September-October 2012 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 12 October 2012)
The September-October SMMGP 2012 Policy 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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Confidential and Free "Drugs Meter" and "Drinks Meter" Tools

(Posted 11 October 2012)
Drugs Meter and Drinks Meter provide anonymous, objective feedback directly to people who use substances, allowing them to compare their use against thousands of people across the globe.

"It's not about other people, it's about you"

Secure and anonymous (drug and drink) websites - and a phone app - provide immediate personalised and confidential feedback, along with the chance to check answers and get further information. It is entirely anonymous, confidential and free - a useful tool to aid self-reporting of drug use and drinking.

Related materials can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Other Resources section.

For more information, please see the Drugs Meter and Drinks Meter web sites, as well as that for Global Drug Survey.

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Delivering Quality Care for Drug and Alcohol Users: The Roles and Competencies of Doctors

(Posted 21 September 2012)
New guidance published this week by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Psychiatrists highlights the need for services to employ teams with the right mix of skills and clinical expertise to support the recovery of people with drug and alcohol problems.

"Delivering quality care for drug and alcohol users: the roles and competencies of doctors" provides a clear analysis of the medical competencies involved in working with drug and alcohol users. It is also intended as timely assistance in the transition towards new commissioning arrangements for drug and alcohol services next year.

The guide acknowledges the crucial importance of adequate supervision and clinical governance in providing safe and effective care to service users. It will help commissioners, employers and others to meet their legal and regulatory requirements and provide a high quality service to all those seeking recovery, including those with more complex needs. The guide will also help doctors working in the sector to ensure that they are meeting General Medical Council requirements on revalidation.

Doctors supporting drug or alcohol users come from a variety of medical backgrounds (mainly General Practice and Psychiatry) and have varying degrees of specialist competency. The guide identifies three levels of competency that apply across all doctors:

The guide maps out how levels of competency relate to service user needs, and to available training and qualifications. It also draws out broader implications for commissioning drug and alcohol services and will be an important reference for Responsible Officers, who are appointed by healthcare providers to support the process of doctors' revalidation.

Dr Emily Finch, Clinical Director for Addictions at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and chair of the working group that produced the report, said: "High quality evidence-based medical treatment can be a key part of recovery. As with any other area of medicine, it must be delivered by doctors with the right competencies to work safely and achieve the best possible outcomes. Doctors with generalist, intermediate and specialist levels of competency in this field all have an important role to play, and this report should help ensure they are all deployed in the right way so that everyone - including the most vulnerable - gets the care they need."

Dr Linda Harris, Medical Director of RCGP Substance Misuse and Associated Health, welcomed the report, saying: "This guidance builds on the excellent work established across the two Royal Colleges to champion clinical excellence in the treatment of substance misuse disorders. The revised competency framework illustrates how primary care professionals can make a proactive contribution to the recovery of people with drug or alcohol problems, setting out the associated training and support needed to deliver such important extended roles."

The full report can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Guidance Documents section.

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Update: The Health and Care System in April 2013

(Posted 18 September 2012)
The Department of Health have published an updated infographic to illustrate how the new health and care system will work. The diagram (which is revised from June) gives an overview of the new health and care system from April 2013. It illustrates the statutory bodies that will make up the new system:

The Health and Care System in April 2013

A large version of the above infographic can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the DH web site.

The Department of Health states:

This diagram gives an overview of the new health and care system from April 2013. It illustrates the statutory bodies that will make up the new system, oriented around people and communities and where they receive their local health and care services. The illustration of local health services is indicative of a range of familiar settings for health and care services and is not intended to be comprehensive - the range of services available and the way in which they are delivered will vary according to local priorities.

The diagram shows organisations working at a local and national level with the outer green ring highlighting the range of organisations whose central role is regulation of the system and safeguarding the interests of patients. Where there is a relationship between local, national and safeguarding organisations, this is indicated by arranging these organisations in alignment across the layers.

The key provides a broad classification of organisations' roles, grouping them by colour to provide a simplified overview. A number of organisations have roles which span more than one area and this is most notable in relation to local government. Its central role in the new system is illustrated in a unique form to reflect this.

The outer ring illustrates the Department of Health's role as steward of the health and care system, working to champion health and wellbeing across government. It shows the ultimate responsibility of the Secretary of State for ensuring the whole system works together to meet the needs of communities and his accountability to Parliament.

The diagram expands on the version published in June.

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Dual Diagnosis: Findings from the CCAS Research Programme

(Posted 10 September 2012)
The CCAS (Case-finding & Comorbidity in Addiction Services) research team has produces a poster intended to disseminate their findings, focusing on dual diagnosis. The poster summarises key findings and publications covering: depression and anxiety disorders in routine methadone treatment, reliability of brief screening tools, and outcome measurement.

The poster can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

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August-September SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 07 September 2012)
The August-September 2012 SMMGP Clinical Update is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

The study paper mentioned in the Clinical Update can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

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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Steve Brinksman's "Post Its from Practice"

(Posted 07 September 2012)
Prior to August 2012, Dr Chris Ford wrote the regular "Post-its from Practice" articles for Drink & Drugs News (DDN) Magazine.

Dr Steve Brinksman has now taken over from Chris and the first two of his Post-its are now available in the dedicated Post-its from Practice section, along with all of Chris' past Post-its.

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July-August 2012 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 17 August 2012)
The July-August SMMGP 2012 Policy 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 Position Statement Regarding Changes to Methadone Prescription Payment Arrangements

(Posted 14 August 2012)
Following on from the NHSBSA Update on Changes to Payments for Oral Liquid Methadone, SMMGP have produced a position statement regarding changes to methadone prescription payment arrangements:

We understand that the PSNC is currently seeking feedback following the recent change in funding to community pharmacists supplying methadone. We would like to express our concerns surrounding what appears to be a significant cut in funding for some pharmacists, for provision of this valuable service.

The evidence base supporting use of methadone is indisputable, and is associated with many positive outcomes both for the people that use it and for wider society in general. This has been achieved through a close therapeutic relationship between the patient, the prescriber, the key worker and the pharmacist. Whilst some aspects of this work are funded, much of what our pharmacist colleagues deliver in terms of patient engagement relies on goodwill. This is particularly important in substance misuse as the pharmacist will see the patient more frequently than any other healthcare professional.

Once someone is stable on methadone, visiting a pharmacy every day can start to impede recovery, and collections will be reduced as that person progresses in treatment. We realise that, under the new payment structure, prescribers can specify that the methadone is to be supplied in daily dose containers, in effect compelling the pharmacist to do so. In the past however, many pharmacists have done this anyway if, in their professional judgement, they felt the individual would benefit from this approach. For example where an individual may have difficulties measuring an accurate daily dose, or to reduce the loss if a bottle is dropped, or for safeguarding reasons, it may be appropriate to dispense in daily dose containers. The new payment structure however appears to financially incentivise moving away from such an approach.

It is clear from the feedback that has been received so far from our membership that this is an emotive issue. Pharmacists do not appear to have found the original structure complex, and therefore have not seen the need to "simplify " the structure.We are concerned that decreasing income for pharmacists will reduce their willingness to continue to be involved in engaging and treating this vulnerable patient group beyond that which is required by their NHS contract. It is our hope that the review being undertaken by the PSNC in light of contractor response to the new payment structure will reflect the valuable contribution that our pharmacist colleagues make in supporting recovery for people engaged in our substance misuse services.

- SMMGP Project Team August 2012

The SMMGP Position Statement can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

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NTA: Confirmed UK Case of Anthrax in a Person Who Injected Drugs

(Posted 3 July 2012)
The NTA has issued a health alert - It has been confirmed that a Scottish resident has contracted anthrax following injecting drug use. This case follows the recent reports of anthrax infection among people who inject drugs in mainland Europe. Since early June there has been a total of six confirmed cases in heroin users in Germany, Denmark, France and Scotland. Two of these cases have been fatal.

The full NTA document can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

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World Hepatitis Day on 28 July 2012

(Posted 25 July 2012)
On 28 July 2012 people around the world will come together to mark World Hepatitis Day and raise awareness of viral hepatitis. Coordinated by the World Hepatitis Alliance since 2007, World Hepatitis Day was officially recognised by the World Health Organization on May 2010 and it's now one of only four disease related official days.

Hepatitis kills around one million people every year. Millions more suffer immediate sickness or long-term ill health. World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity to recognise viral hepatitis as a major global health problem in order to advance prevention and control.

Want to get involved?

For more information, please visit the World Hepatitis Day web site. The site also includes links to the World Hepatitis Alliance and World Health Organization sites where you can find details of events being held, and download (customisable) campaign materials.

Notes

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June-July SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 13 July 2012)
The June-July 2012 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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DrugScope "Planning for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services" Guidance

(Posted 3 July 2012)
DrugScope (with support from the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse) have produced a new guidance document entitled "Planning for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services: A brief guide to general planning considerations". It is a short, general introduction to some relevant aspects of planning, intended for those involved in local partnerships and as service providers in the setting up of residential or non-residential ("drop-in") drug and alcohol treatment services.

The guidance can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the DrugScope web site.

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The Health and Care System in April 2013

(Posted 12 July 2012)
News from the Department of Health regarding coming changes to the health and care system:

"The health and care system is changing in order to meet new challenges. New organisations, and changes to existing roles, are being developed over the course of this year, and the new health and care system will be up and running by April 2013."

The following DH infographic shows a representation of the new system:

The Health and Care System in April 2013

A large version of the above infographic can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the DH web site.

Managing the transition

"The new health and care system will be up and running by April 2013. The vital services patients value will continue as usual during the period of transition.

"New organisations, and changes to existing roles, are being developed in parallel over the course of this year to ensure there is no disruption or drop in standards of care. The Government is working with local government and the health and care sector to make improvements to services and implement the reforms.

"As the new system takes shape, the needs of the patients and communities we serve will be at the heart of all we do."

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NHSBSA Update on Changes to Payments for Oral Liquid Methadone

(Posted 3 July 2012)
The DH have recently published further information and a Q&A for contractors on the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) website regarding the changes to payments for oral liquid methadone which will take effect from 1 July 2012:

"A further update on the changes to the July Drug Tariff is now available, including details of the new payment system to reflect the increased cost of dispensing split packs, the new payment system for Methadone oral liquid, changes to Broken Bulk and Out of Pocket Expenses provisions and other changes due to be made to the Drug Tariff."

The full update and/or the section pertaining to methadone can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the NHSBSA web site.

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Steve Brinksman Article on Mutual Aid in Primary Care

(Posted 3 July 2012)
SMMGP Clinical Lead, Steve Brinksman, has recently written an article entitled "A mutuality of purpose, or mutually exclusive?" for the NTA.

The article is available on the NTA web site. We would welcome any comments - please post them directly on the site:

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May-June 2012 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 18 June 2012)
The May-June SMMGP 2012 Policy Update is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

Alex Stevens's article "The Ethics and Effectiveness of Coerced Treatment of People Who Use Drugs", which is referred to in the Policy Update, can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Other Resources section.

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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Tackling the Problem of Hep C, Substance Misuse & Health Inequalities: A Consensus for London

(Posted 11 June 2012)
The SMMGP endorse the consensus document "Tackling the Problem of Hepatitis C, Substance Misuse and Health Inequalities: A Consensus for London" produced by The London Joint Working Group for Substance Misuse and Hepatitis C (LJWG).

The document "represents a call to action from experts in the fields of addiction and hepatitis in London. It provides a framework with which to address the epidemiological, clinical and financial challenges presented by current rates of hepatitis C among people who have injected drugs and sets out solutions in the form of a blueprint for local commissioners".

"Hepatitis C is a major public health issue currently facing the UK, and the situation in London is of particular concern. In terms of the liver disease epidemic, it is the most tractable problem, with cost-effective treatments available, yet many vulnerable patients fall through the net in London for want of effective planning and joined-up service provision. For this reason a multi-disciplinary group of experts convened to explore ways to address this problem. The first output of this group was a pan-London stakeholder conference, from which this consensus has been developed. It outlines a clear series of actions, each of which will have an individual effect on this problem, but which all together will provide a very significant impact on the seemingly inexorable rise in hepatitis C-related liver disease. The consensus will now be turned into an action plan to enable this outcome."

The consensus document can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Other Resources section.

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DH Launches Online Bulletin for PbR for Drugs & Alcohol

(Posted 25 May 2012)
Following the launch last month of 8 payment by results pilot sites for drugs and alcohol recovery treatment services, the Payment by Results for Recovery Pilot Programme has now launched its online bulletin.

Supporting the implementation and development of the new payment by results approach, the bulletin will provide information about the pilots and give support to:

The bulletin also aims to engage with health professionals who are delivering drug treatment services within the NHS, police and crime commissioners who will hold the Drug Intervention Programme budget, specialist organisations and other interested stakeholders as the sector moves towards the introduction of Public Health England.

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No Alcohol No Risk - FASD Information for Midwives

(Posted 24 May 2012)
NOFAS-UK (the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome UK) has released a 26 minute film which explains the risks of drinking alcohol in pregnancy while following a birth mother with a child with suspected FASD, a midwife and a pregnant woman who is drinking low levels of alcohol.

The video, entitled "No Alcohol No Risk - FASD Information for Midwives", can be seen on the NOFAS-UK web site in the "Alcohol in pregnancy - training for midwives" section.

NOFAS-UK have also produced a fact sheet for parents, carers and professionals containing information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This fact sheet is available below, in the SMMGP Other Resources section, as well as on the NOFAS-UK site.

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RCGP Conference Podcasts & Presentations Now Online

(Posted 23 May 2012)
Presentations and audio recordings from the RCGP 17th National Conference (held in City Hall, Cardiff, 11 May 2012) are now available from the Conference Reports & Presentations section.

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Sexual Violence, Survivors' Substance Use & Capacity to Consent: A Survey for Professionals

(Posted 17 May 2012)
SMMGP have agreed to circulate the following on behalf of The Stella Project. As part of Against Violence and Abuse (AVA), The Stella Project is the leading UK agency addressing the intersecting issues of domestic and sexual violence, drug and alcohol use and mental health.

"AVA (Against Violence & Abuse) is a national second tier charity working to end violence against women and girls. Our Stella Project's work focuses on improving service provision for survivors of domestic and sexual violence who are affected by drug and alcohol use and mental ill health. As part of its current work the Stella Project is conducting a small research project on alcohol, drugs and sexual assault.

"Research has shown that a third of survivors of sexual violence who report their assault to the Metropolitan Police have taken drugs and/or alcohol prior to the assault. In cases where survivors have knowingly consumed drugs and/or alcohol, the prosecution must demonstrate that the survivor did not have the 'capacity to consent' because of their intoxication. As a result of the importance of this notion of 'capacity' in prosecuting cases of rape, this research project will investigate definitions of 'capacity to consent' to produce guidance for policymakers and professionals on promoting access to justice for survivors of sexual violence who use substances.

"With this aim, we are asking professionals from a range of sectors to complete a short survey relating to their experiences of working with survivors of drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), including within the context of domestic violence, and their own understanding of how drugs and/or alcohol affect a person's capacity to consent. In conjunction with views of surveyed survivors and a literature review, this information will be used to produce a report that will be published online in July 2012.

"This survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. If you would like more information about this project before completing the survey, please contact one of the two AVA volunteers leading this project: Lucy Hayton or Nick Beard.

"As mentioned, we are also conducting a survey on the same topic for survivors of sexual assault. If you would like to complete or forward on the details of this survey it can be found as shown below. We would be very grateful for any assistance in encouraging participation."

All responses will be anonymous.

"Thank you in advance for your time."

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April-May SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 17 May 2012)
The April-May 2012 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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Winners of the SMMGP 2012 Essay Competition

(Posted 09 May 2012)
SMMGP is pleased to announce the first and second prize-winning entries for our 2012 Essay Competition for Undergraduate Medical Students and Postgraduate Registrars, who were invited to write an essay of no more than 1,200 words on one of 2 specified topics.

Our heartiest congratulations to Nuala Schwarz who submitted the winning entry, and the runner up, Lloyd Hughes. Both are 4th year medical students.

Their essays are now available to read below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format and we look forward to welcoming Nuala to the RCGP Conference in Cardiff on 11 May, where she will receive the book tokens which also formed part of her prize.

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Network #34 Now Online

(Posted 13 April 2012)
Issue 34 of "Network", the SMMGP Newsletter, is now available to read online, download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, or browse as a "digital publication" from the Newsletters section in the Resource Library.

The following additional article to accompany Network 34, can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Other Resources section.

You may also like to view the following video in relation to the Network 34 article ""Doctor can you hear me?" Ways forward to improve communication between GPs and patients who use drugs and alcohol":

The Role of GPs in the Recovery Process

SMMGP acted as advisors to the RSA on this short film, which came out of their Whole Person Recovery project, about the role of GPs in the recovery process.

If you would like to receive copies of Network via post and/or 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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RSA Blogs SMMGP Comments on "Putting Full Recovery First"

(Posted 11 April 2012)
We are pleased to report that the RSA have posted SMMGP's summary and comments about the Home Office's "Putting Full Recovery First" document in their latest blog.

The comments were first published in the recent March-April 2012 SMMGP Policy Update, which is available in both online and downloadable versions.

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March-April 2012 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 09 April 2012)
The March-April 2012 Policy 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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February-March SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 20 March 2012)
The February-March 2012 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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January-February 2012 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 20 February 2012)
The January-February 2012 Policy 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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Updated Opiod Guidance now available in the Resource Library

(Posted 09 February 2012)
An updated version of the "Guidance for the use of substitute prescribing in the treatment of opioid dependence in primary care" has been added to the Guidance Documents section of the Resource Library.

Opioid dependence is common in the UK and there are effective substitution medications, including methadone and buprenorphine, to support treatment. This guidance covers the use of substitute medication, which can be an important element in the treatment of opioid dependent patients and their medically assisted recovery (MAR).

The guidance is produced by RCGP Substance Misuse & Associated Health (SMAH) formerly known as RCGP Substance Misuse Unit (SMU); RCGP Sex, Drugs and HIV Group (SDHIVG); SMMGP; and The Alliance.

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IDHDP: "The need to challenge unhealthy drug policies to improve drug treatment"

(Posted 02 February 2012)
Dr Chris Ford presented on behalf of IDHDP (International Doctors for Healthy Drugs Policies) at the Global Addiction Conference in Lisbon, Portugal (5-7 December 2011) on "The need to challenge unhealthy drug policies to improve drug treatment". This presentation has been added to the Other Resources section of the Resource Library.

IDHDP's purpose is to increase the participation of medical doctors in drug policy reform. There is a gap between evidence based practice and drug policy in many countries and IDHDP aims to lobby internationally to influence changes in drug policy to promote harm reduction and create healthy drug policies. They believe that doctors are in a strong position to help to achieve this.

Why not visit the IDHDP website to learn more and, if you are a doctor and agree with their aims, please join. Alternatively, anyone can join their public forums and add their voice to the international debate!

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December 2011 - January 2012 SMMGP Clinical Update now online

(Posted 09 January 2012)
The December 2011 - January 2012 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.