SMMGP - Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Substance Misuse Management Good Practice

Supporting good practice in drug and alcohol treatment

SMMGP News Archives - 2013

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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October-November 2013 SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 16 December 2013)
The October-November 2013 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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Dry January: Can you stay off the booze for 31 days?

(Posted 10 December 2013)
Can you stay off the booze for 31 days? SMMGP is signed up to the Dry January campaign and Steve Brinksman, our Clinical Lead, has committed to drinking mocktails, artisan juices, strong coffee, herbal teas and strong water for 31 days come the New Year.

Steve will be supported by Elsa Browne (SMMGP Project Manager) and Kate Halliday (Policy Manager) in going "dry" for the first month of the new year (apart from the above of course).

Interested SMMGP members are welcome to join us. Sign up on the Dry January web site.

Learn more on the SMMGP Blog

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Integrated Care Pathway (ICP) Development Tool for Alcohol Services

(Posted 09 December 2013)
A new free resource "Developing a Local Integrated Care Pathway for the Prevention and Management of Alcohol Use Disorders in Adults" is now available on the Alcohol Concern web site.

The template care pathway and unique collection of resources, information and supporting evidence have been designed to help in the commissioning, planning and delivery of public health, clinical and other services for alcohol problems. The Tool is designed to help improve health outcomes whilst supporting the use of local resources in the most effective, efficient and economic fashion.

The Tool is designed to be used by Commissioners of Integrated Services, Providers of Services and local alcohol leads (including clinicians) primarily in England, however, elements will be useful for the devolved nations. Although the Tool is not specifically intended for service users, it does contain elements that will be of value to service providers working with service users when planning care. It also aims to increase choice and availability of services for patients and service users.

The content of the ICP Development Tool is largely based on existing information and published guidance. It has also been critically reviewed by a broad panel of experts from within the NHS, Local Government and Public Health to ensure that it meets the needs of those involved in planning, commissioning and delivering alcohol services.

The integrated care pathway development tool is endorsed by both SMMGP and Alcohol Concern

Learn more and access the Tool on the Alcohol Concern web site

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New Resource to Support Young People with Substance Misuse Problems

(Posted 05 December 2013)
A free interactive e-learning resource has been launched which will help newly qualified professionals working with young people identify when drink and drug addiction may be impacting their healthy development.

"Healthy Development in Young People: for professionals working with substance use in young people" will improve the way youth workers, nurses, social workers and adults working in targeted and specialist substance misuse services work together.

The short online course, developed jointly by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), Public Health England (PHE) and the Cambridgeshire Adolescent Substance Use Service, is made up of seven interactive sessions containing videos, case studies and self-assessments on:

Once the e-learning programme is complete, professionals should be able to:

For more information, please see the RCPCH web site.

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(Posted 22 October 2013)
The September-October 2013 SMMGP 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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August-September 2013 SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 10 October 2013)
The August-September 2013 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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July-August 2013 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 06 September 2013)
The July-August 2013 SMMGP 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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Survey: Do Drug & Alcohol Workers Need a Voluntary Professional Register?

(Posted 22 August 2013)
The Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals (FDAP) are currently carrying out initial scoping research to explore the potential needs and demands for a voluntary professional register in the Drug & Alcohol sector.

Why they need your help

Please complete this survey to help them find out whether the Drug & Alcohol workforce would benefit from having a voluntary Professional Register. They would welcome the views of practitioners, employers, membership organisations, commissioners of services as well as policy-makers.

Complete the online survey here!

The Survey should take you less than 15 minutes to complete. All responses will be treated confidentially and analysed anonymously. The deadline to complete the survey is 16 September 2013.

What is a Professional Register?

A professional register lists workers who have demonstrated an appropriate level of competence in their field of work. It therefore ensures competence of those who are registered as well as helps enhance professional recognition. It also helps employers identify competent professionals.

If you have any queries, please contact:

Sophia Verhaeghe
Researcher
Tel: 0114 231 7399
E-mail: Sophia.verhaeghe@sfjuk.com

Thank you for your help.

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June-July 2013 SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 08 August 2013)
The June-July 2013 SMMGP Clinical Update is now available in the SMMGP Clinical & Policy Updates section in both online and downloadable versions.

Warmest congratulations to Dr Euan Lawson, who writes our Clinical Updates, on his recent appointment as Deputy Editor of the British Journal of General Practice.

Euan's recent editorial for the Journal, entitled "Management of Opioid Addiction in Primary Care: A Pragmatic Approach Prioritising Wellbeing Not Ideology", can be found below.

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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EDP Service User Volunteers on Archaeological Dig

(Posted 06 August 2013)
The following is a press release by EDP Drug & Alcohol Services (EDP):

Archaeological Excavation offers Exciting Opportunity for those in Recovery to Engage with Community

This week six people that access EDP Drug & Alcohol Services (EDP) through Devon Drug Service will take part in a rare and exciting opportunity which not only will give them new skills and experiences but also give them a chance to give back to the community they live in.

The six people will join an important archaeological excavation at Ipplepen near Newton Abbot on Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th August. The excavation is funded by the University of Exeter, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, The British Museum and Devon County Council and has the potential to rewrite the archaeological history of Roman Britain in the South-West. Over three days, our volunteers will be trained in archaeological excavation and recording techniques alongside students from the university and other volunteers. EDP believes it is important to offer those who have problems with alcohol and drugs a number of different activities which can enable them to reintegrate into their community and engage in more purposeful activities. EDP was set up as a support group in 1984 in response to the need and support for drug users locally at a time when they were heavily stigmatised. EDP has since grown; we now work in Devon and Dorset with many thousands of people, both in the community and in prisons. The charity has retained the strong values and passion of the people who set it up and we continue to challenge the negative stigma experienced by those who have problems with alcohol and drugs. A fundamental belief underpinning our work is that, given the right support and resources, people can and do make remarkable changes.

This marvellous opportunity has been offered by Danielle Wootton the county's Finds Liaison Officer who co-ordinates community involvement for local volunteers. The excavation is being led by Dr Ioana Oltean, based at the Archaeology Department and is also being used an opportunity to train university students studying archaeological subjects.

"The volunteers from DDS are very dedicated and are doing a fantastic job on site," said Danielle, "It's great to see volunteers from the whole community working together to help discover more about our ancestors living around 2000 years ago. I am really happy that the university has been able to offer the opportunity for everyone to get involved."

One of the volunteers, Carl, said, "I feel very privileged to be invited on this excavation, it's such an exciting, stimulating opportunity that is opening new doors. I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

Mary Greener, Director of Services for EDP and General Manager of Devon Drug Service, said "this is a splendid opportunity for people accessing our services to gain new skills as well as improve their self-confidence and self-esteem. It is a demonstration of the community working together to help people recover from substance misuse. We are grateful for Danielle and her team for inviting us this year and providing the free places for our services users."

Thanks also go to SMMGP, a network that supports GPs and other primary health practitioners who work with substance misuse in the UK, who have given EDP funding to buy suitable footwear for those that will take part.

Sam Moorhead, the National Finds Advisor (Roman Coins) from The British Museum, on site today, said, "The British museum is thrilled to see one of its partner projects reaching out to and including disadvantaged members of the community."

This is a great example of how the wider community can help people into and in recovery. EDP are keen to hear from businesses, local authorities, community groups and individuals who would like to work with us to expand recovery activities, experiences and training for people to help them along their journey.

Any organisations wishing to get involved should contact EDP by calling 01392 666 710 or by e-mailing info@edp.org.uk.

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Skills for Health DANOS and Service User Consultations Now Available

(Posted 01 August 2013)
Skills for Health has now released the DANOS (Drug and Alcohol National Occupational Standards) and Service User consultations.

There are two components to the consultation exercise:

To contribute to the DANOS consultation please visit the project page on the Skills for Health website. The consultation runs until 30th September 2013.

As part of the consultation, there is a Service User Consultation Survey which can be downloaded below in both Adobe Acrobat PDF format, and MicroSoft Word format. Please feel free to print copies and circulate to service users.

Please return any completed Service User surveys by 12th September 2013 to:

DANOS Service User Consultation
Skills for Health
Goldsmiths House
Broad Plain
Bristol BS2 0JP

There is also an opportunity for service users to contribute online. Details can be found on the project page above.

For additional information, please contact:

Nadine Singh
Manager - NOS, Qualifications & Apprenticeships
Products & Services
Skills for Health
Goldsmiths House
Broad Plain
Bristol BS2 0JP
Mob: 07768 846764
Administrative support: 0117 910 3841
Administrative support: nadeem.ahmed@skillsforhealth.org.uk
Web: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk

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Management of Opioid Addiction in Primary Care: A Pragmatic Approach Prioritising Wellbeing Not Ideology

(Posted 23 July 2013)
Euan Lawson's recent editorial for the British Journal of General Practice (May 2013, pp231-232) is now available online.

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

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"RCGP Guide to the Management of Substance Misuse in Primary Care" Available

(Posted 16 July 2013)
The "RCGP Guide to the Management of Substance Misuse in Primary Care" (authors Nat Wright, Clare Gerada and Laura Sheard) has just been printed and is now available to buy through the RCGP bookshop.

"This extraordinary team of clinicians has created a reference work that will inspire doctors to deal with modern problems with skill and compassion. It pulls together a range of disciplines and is firmly rooted in day-to-day practice but embraces the broader vision of addictions policy and practice.
(Prof. Michael Farrell, Director, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre)

This comprehensive guide provides valuable support to primary care health professionals who work with, or care for, patients with substance misuse problems. The book has been fully updated from the first edition to cover the changing landscape of drug policy and treatment.

The authors are experts drawn from different fields - all with practical experience of patients presenting with substance misuse problems. Containing chapters on alcohol, smoking, cannabis, opioids and CNS stimulants, the book also covers harm reduction, evidence-based treatment and non-pharmaceutical therapies. The book provides useful information too on the roles of the GP, pharmacist and nurse, making this the definitive work on substance misuse in primary care.

Please see the RCGP bookshop for more details.

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May-June 2013 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 09 July 2013)
The May-June 2013 SMMGP 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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New PHE Guidance on Managing Persistent Pain in Secure Settings

(Posted 08 July 2013)
"Managing persistent pain in secure settings" - a guide for professionals working in custody settings, to support best practice in diagnosing, assessing and managing the symptoms of persistent pain among prisoners - has been published by Public Health England (PHE). The guide has been written in association with to the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Pain Society, and is supported by the Department of Health.

Among the prison population 16% have musculoskeletal disorders, 5% have cardiovascular disease and 5% have neurological conditions. Detoxification from opioids and other drugs may cause previously masked pain symptoms to emerge. Prisoners in the high security prison estate, or serving long sentences elsewhere, may develop long-term ill health that can contribute to their reports of persistent pain. This new guide is an overview of best practice in managing persistent pain and describes how this practice might be implemented in secure environments, including prisons, police custody and immigration removal centres. It offers advice on confirming a diagnosis of persistent pain in a secure setting.

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

To find out more visit the Public Health England website.

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New NAT Report on HIV and Injecting Drug Use

(Posted 08 July 2013)
We are pleased to announce the launch of the National Aids Trust's (NAT) report on "HIV and Injecting Drug Use" which is available to download below.

The report provides a detailed account of the emerging trends in injecting behaviour and associated new health risks. It gives recommendations on how to respond to these injecting behaviours, in particular the use of newer drugs by gay and bisexual men in the context of high risk sexual behaviour, and the injecting of image and performance enhancing drugs.

Of key importance is the improvement of the range and quality of services for people who inject drugs in relation to HIV risk, especially the continuing provision of harm reduction programmes such as Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST) and Needle and Syringe Programmes (NSPs). The report calls on Public Health England to restate clearly its support for evidence-based provision of OST and to ensure policy and financial levers/incentives do not inappropriately prioritise treatment exit over other treatment outcomes.

The final section of the report looks at treatment and care for people who inject drugs and also have HIV. More should be done to address the worryingly high mortality rates amongst this group - twenty times the national average.

The recommendations of the report are also collated at the end of the document for ease of reference.

The report can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format as well as from the Other Resources section and the National Aids Trust website.

To find out more visit the National Aids Trust website.

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New PHE Commissioning Guidance for Addiction to Medicines

(Posted 03 July 2013)
A new commissioning guidance for the NHS and local authorities on how to respond to the needs of people who are addicted to medicines has been published by Public Health England. Entitled "Commissioning treatment for dependence on prescription and over-the-counter medicines: a guide for NHS and local authority commissioners", the guidance sets out PHE's expectation that support should be available in every area for people with a dependency on prescription or over-the-counter medicines, based on a full assessment of local need.

Under the recent health reforms, local authorities, working closely with the NHS and other health partners, are responsible for building an understanding of what treatment responses are required in their area and ensuring that the right support is in place.

The guidance has been produced with input from experts on addiction to medicines. It outlines a number of sources that commissioners can use to identify the scale of misuse or dependence, and in relation to what medicines, in their area. It emphasises that all these checks - such as finding out about GP prescribing patterns, and speaking to those with first-hand experience of addiction to medicines - are important to understand fully what services are needed.

Depending on local needs and circumstances, the response may be developed with local GPs, delivered via existing services that deal with a range of drug and alcohol issues, or may be provided or complemented by separate, dedicated addiction to medicines services and support groups.

The Government's 2010 Drug Strategy states that suitable local responses should be available for dependence on all drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines. This new guidance gives a clear message on the support that people who have problems with these medicines are entitled to expect.

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

To find out more visit the Public Health England website.

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CPPE Launches Addiction, Misuse and Dependency E-Learning Programme

(Posted 02 July 2013)
The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) have launched their latest e-learning programme, "Addiction, misuse and dependency: a focus on over-the-counter and prescribed medicines". They have developed this programme with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to provide healthcare professionals with a better understanding of how you can recognise patients who may have an addiction to prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and how you can approach and help patients.

About 30 percent of adults in Britain have used illicit drugs at some time in their lives but misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is probably even more widespread. There are an estimated 1.5 million people addicted to benzodiazepines in the UK (Ref 3) and there are between 4,000 and 15,000 users on one internet support group for addiction to medicines (Ref 6, 13). This e-learning programme will help you to identify groups of patients who could become dependent on medicines and recognise the treatment interventions that you can use.

"The development of this programme came from the significant interest in what many see as a hidden problem. The learning programme helps health professionals appreciate the issue of dependency on medicines and begin to identify and support their patients.

"We have included two videos that show patients' stories, which will give healthcare professionals an invaluable insight into a patient's perspective. They will help you to think about ways you can approach and help patients in a similar position."

- Professor Christopher Cutts, Director, Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education

"The RCGP Substance Misuse and Associated Health is delighted to have co-authored this first holistic e-learning programme focusing on the needs of patients experiencing problems with prescribed medications.

"This exciting new learning partnership with CPPE has highlighted the need for primary care professionals, particularly GPs, to be equipped with a firm knowledge in this area and to work closely with community pharmacists in identifying patients who are or have the potential to become addicted to prescribed medications and then put plans in place to support and address their needs.

"Developed by frontline professionals the programme covers awareness raising, identification and evidence based interventions and provides much needed continuing professional development in this critical area of medicines management in primary care."

- Dr Linda Harris, Medical Director, RCGP Substance Misuse and Associated Health

The programme overview can be found on the CPPE web site.

Further information on this and other CPPE programmes is available at www.cppe.ac.uk.

Further information about the Royal College of General practitioners can be found at www.rcgp.org.uk.

References 3, 6 and 13 can be found in the "Addictions, misuse and dependency" learning programme.

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Tipping the Balance of Power: Professionals' Experiences of Training Peer Based Researchers

(Posted 31 May 2013)
As guest bloggers two GPs, Morris Gallagher and David Julien, share their feelings about helping recovering users to develop the skills to research their area of expertise - drug misuse.

You can read their post on the SMMGP Blog, and a full related article can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format as well as from the Other Resources section.

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April-May 2013 SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 31 May 2013)
The April-May 2013 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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March-April 2013 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 24 April 2013)
The March-April 2013 SMMGP 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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Invitation to join NICE Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Advisory Committee

(Posted 08 April 2013)
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued an invitation to join NICE Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Advisory Committee.

The QOF rewards practices for the provision of quality care and helps standardise improvements in the delivery of clinical care. Practice participation in QOF is voluntary but most practices on General Medical Services (GMS) contracts, as well as many on Personal Medical Services (PMS) contracts, take part in QOF. It was introduced as part of the new GMS contract in 2004.

NICE works with the Advisory Committee to develop evidence based clinical and public health indicators for the QOF.

Committee members are drawn from the NHS, health, public health and social care professionals, patients/service users and academia. They do not represent their organisations but are selected for their expertise, experience of working with multidisciplinary and lay colleagues and understanding of evidence based care.

All QOF Committee members have equal status, which reflects the relevance and importance of their different expertise and experience. All group members need to attend regular meetings and undertake background reading.

Recruitment for specialist membership of the QOF Advisory Committee has started and they are seeking applications for the following roles:

*Due to potential conflicts of interests this does not include employees of the NHS Commissioning Board (including area teams).

Further information including how to apply is available on the NICE website.

Please note that the deadline for applications is Wednesday 24 April at 5pm.

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SMMGP Survey Prize Draw Winner

(Posted 19 March 2013)
We are pleased to announce the winner of the prize draw for all those who took part in our recent survey regarding "Training Needs Analysis to Support Competency Development for GPwSIs in Alcohol".

The winner of £75 in Marks & Spencer's vouchers is Dr Emily Jackson.

Thanks again to all those who took part.

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February-March 2013 SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 14 March 2013)
The February-March 2013 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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Network #35 Now Online

(Posted 13 March 2013)
Issue 35 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.

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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WHO Report Looking at Barriers to HCV Treatment Access and Uptake for People Who Inject Drugs

(Posted 08 March 2013)
A World Health Organization (WHO) report entitled "Barriers and Facilitators to Hepatitis C Treatment for People Who Inject Drugs. A Qualitative Study" has recently been published on the WHO web site.

"Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a significant global public health problem. The burden of HCV infection is concentrated among people who inject drugs (PWID), with an estimated five million PWID living with chronic HCV in the European Region. HCV antiviral treatment with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin is the standard care for chronic HCV, with a 50-85% cure rate depending on genotype. Research indicates that PWID are interested in HCV treatment uptake and have rates of viral clearance comparable with other populations. Current injectors are not precluded from HCV treatment access in a number of European countries, yet uptake rates are substandard.

"This qualitative study aims to assess the barriers and facilitators to HCV treatment access and completion for PWID in drug and alcohol (D&A) settings. We examine the barriers and facilitators to HCV treatment by: describing pathways to hepatitis C treatment, including referral, as well as factors mediating treatment access in the D&A setting. Through qualitative interviews with HCV treatment providers and PWID we explore the experience of HCV treatment access and delivery from patient, provider and 'system' perspectives in order to develop guidance regarding HCV treatment system improvement, including referral and coordination, and the provision of psycho-social interventions targeting patients and providers."

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

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Public Health Services Contract - Narrative, Definitions and Interpretation

(Posted 07 March 2013)
A Department of Health narrative developed on Public Health England (PHE) contracting in relation to Local Enhanced Services (LES) can now be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Other Resources section. A separate document on "Definitions and Interpretation" is also available.

The Public Health Services Contract is available on the Department of Health web site.

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Primary Care Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Commissioning and Provision Against a Backdrop of Localism

(Posted 19 February 2013)
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Substance Misuse Management in General Practice (SMMGP) have issued a joint paper considering the future impact of the changing commissioning environment on primary care drug and alcohol treatment, entitled "Primary Care Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Commissioning and Provision Against a Backdrop of Localism".

The paper explores how primary care can proactively contribute to the rapidly developing recovery systems of care, by building on its strong legacy of safe, holistic and clinically effective care closer to home. It also includes checklists on how to evidence that services are working towards these themes.

The paper was presented at the RCGP/NTA Joint Conference on "Recovery in Primary Care: Shaping, Leading, Influencing", held on 31 January 2013.

The paper can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Conference Reports & Presentations section, or from the NTA web site.

Other presentations and workshop materials from the event are available on the NTA web site.

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New Alcohol Use Disorders Evidence Update from NICE

(Posted 06 February 2013)
NHS Evidence are pleased to announce that "Alcohol use disorders: harmful drinking and alcohol dependence Evidence Update - January 2013" has been published.

NICE Evidence Updates help to reduce the need for individuals, managers and commissioners to search for new evidence, and keep health and social care professionals up-to-date with new research. While Evidence Updates do not replace current accredited guidance and do not provide formal recommendations, they do highlight new evidence that health and social care professionals may wish to consider alongside current guidance.

The new Evidence Update focuses on a summary of selected new evidence relevant to NICE clinical guideline 115 "Alcohol use disorders: diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence" (2011).

An Evidence Update Advisory Group, comprised of topic experts, reviewed the prioritised evidence and provided a commentary.

The Evidence Update can be downloaded below in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, as well as from the Guidance Documents section, or from the NHS Evidence web site.

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January-February 2013 SMMGP Policy Update Now Online

(Posted 05 February 2013)
The January-February 2013 SMMGP 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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Survey re Training Needs Analysis to Support Competency Development for GPwSIs in Alcohol

(Posted 31 January 2013)
SMMGP are carrying out a training needs analysis for the development of competencies for General Practitioners with a Special Interest in Alcohol, a role that is becoming increasingly important with the rise in alcohol related health problems.

We are inviting generalists and specialist GPs to take part in a survey which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

To encourage you to take part we are offering entry into a prize draw for £75 of Marks & Spencer's vouchers.

The deadline for completing the survey is Friday 22nd February 2013.

The link below will take you straight to the survey:

Many thanks for your help.

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Primary Care Predicts Future of Substance Misuse Recovery

(Posted 31 January 2013)
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Substance Misuse Management in General Practice (SMMGP) have issued a joint paper considering the future impact of the changing commissioning environment on primary care drug and alcohol treatment. The paper is entitled "Primary care drug and alcohol treatment: Commissioning and provision against a backdrop of localism".

The paper explores how primary care can proactively contribute to the rapidly developing recovery systems of care, by building on its strong legacy of safe, holistic and clinically effective care closer to home. It also includes checklists on how to evidence that services are working towards these themes. The paper is being presented at a joint RCGP/National Treatment Agency conference in York this week (31-Jan-2013) to an audience of over 200 clinicians, commissioners and service providers.

Co-author and RCGP Substance Misuse and Associated Health, Medical Director Dr Linda Harris said "This paper covers key themes of recovery-oriented treatment and illustrates the unique role that primary care plays in improving outcomes for individuals, families and the wider community. The paper emphasises the importance of locally designed and responsive services and the opportunities for primary healthcare teams, working with Clinical Commissioning Groups and their Local Health and Wellbeing Boards t to improve outcomes for patients. The paper offers practical examples of how a practice or a shared care team can benchmark the quality of their systems, and thereby provide evidence to commissioners that they are working in a recovery focused way. It is essential reading for all those commissioning and providing recovery services within substance misuse."

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

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December-January SMMGP Clinical Update Now Online

(Posted 21 January 2013)
The December 2012 - January 2013 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.