East Sussex Drug and Alcohol Service - update and opportunities for partnership working
- Meeting of Hastings and St Leonards Local Strategic Partnership, Monday, 29th April, 2019 10.00 am (Item 64.)
(Caroline Evans, Strategic Commissioning Manager -Substance Misuse ESCC AND
Susan Vaughan, Implementation Manager for East Sussex, Change Grow Live)
Presentation and discussion
(Caroline Evans, Strategic Commissioning Manager –Substance Misuse ESCC AND Susan Vaughan, Implementation Manager for East Sussex, Change Grow Live)
Caroline Evans presented an update, the re-tendering process for the drug and alcohol service in East Sussex finished at the end of January and was awarded to Change Grow Live (CGL). She stressed that it would not be a continuation of the services from before but all new services. She then introduced Susan Vaughan the manager for CGL.
Susan Vaughan presented an update on the drug and alcohol service. She started by saying that it was day 1 of week 4 in the role so it is still very new. However she commented that she has a long history of working in East Sussex especially in Hastings and is not new to the problems. A fixed term contact for 4 months the first weeks were familiarisation with the team and their challenges. It is an adult treatment service that treats from alcohol through to opiates. Services are across East Sussex and it is a treatment service. One of the main problems is that they cannot treat people who don’t want to be treated so they must think of ways to engage with people.
On the subject of cocaine she said that when she spoke to one of the the recovery workers about a cocaine group that he ran and how successful it was he said that he would like to run more. Although lack of engagement is a problem he went to their place of work, with their permission, and engaged with them at work this was part of its success. She commented that a mixture of people come to the building, from people referred by their GP for alcohol use to heavy opiate users, and they need the service to be welcoming to all.
She commented that they are running a number of launches which everyone is invited too. They will be an opportunity to see what CGL do, talk to them and invite them to areas where they might be helpful. They have had a high turnover of staff in management level recently and it has been difficult to recruit these positions. They are now recruiting a locality lead as although there are similarities between Hastings and Eastbourne, there are some specific Hastings issues. This means they need to have someone who knows these issues and can focus on them.
Members commented that people in Hastings have been very challenged in and there has been a lot of work in the area. They are happy to hear of someone to focus on this area. Hastings has low property values and high levels of deprivation and places like this do need high levels of focus. It was asked that given that the services are given in different ways, what are we all doing working together joined up in a simple way the people can see. It was also commented that Seaview would like to have a conversation with CGL around this.
Susan Vaughan answered that things have changed since the first bid was won in Hastings and focus has shifted. This has lost some of the good interactions that were had but it is not too late to get these back. She also commented that she used to be a board member for Seaview and they would have been top of her list to work with so she is happy to have the conversation with them.
Caroline Evans added that working in partnership with key local players she fully anticipates and expects star service (which is the new name of the service) to be part of these discussions.
Members spoke on the challenges of managing the many services in a single environment and welcomed the idea that it can be rolled out in a number of different locations. This will help the people attempting to get help at the early stages not feel intimidated by the diverse needs of the people that receive help. They also spoke on the recent report on prescription addiction and how people don’t see themselves as addicts as the opiates are prescribed by a doctor.
Caroline Evans answered that with opiate based painkillers there is a significant problem that is above national average in Hastings and Rother for prescription led addiction. There is a pilot project in station plaza. Routine reviews have found poor prescription management in some areas, with poor monitoring of repeat prescriptions. . After they undertook work alongside the GP and pharmacist to educate staff about prescriptions and a recovery worker worked with patients and provided a recovery programme, this project has seen a reduction. This project will be rolled out to High Glade surgery next and work will be carried out within the town.
CGL will look at the use of satellite venues where people are going to be anyway instead of places they have to go to, surgeries are a good use for this however anywhere can be used for a recovery worker such as coffee shops, places of employment or voluntary centres.
The custody block and chief inspector will work together to get people the help they need and the recovery worker will work with client after they have left the custody block.
Tracy Deighton commented that they were seeing more clients exhibiting various levels of intoxication at the CAB which was affecting their ability to provide a service to an individual, often requiring them to return for support on another day.