LettersThe DDN letters page, where you can have your say.

To be included in the next issue, please send letters and comments to claire@cjwellings.com.

Committed to naloxone

Regarding Neil Hunt’s opinion piece, ‘A matter of life and death’ (DDN, December 2013, page 18): as the service provider for Peterborough, we are in absolute agreement that naloxone should be available to service users, especially high-risk service users such as those leaving prison and those accessing the needle exchange. We fully appreciate that naloxone is a potentially life saving drug and with minimal training – we provide it to service users and their families on a case-by-case basis.

CRI provide the integrated recovery service in Peterborough, which incorporates prescribing interventions and we have not been aware of any contact made with our service, or with our Peterborough commissioners, in relation to take-home naloxone. Had we been contacted, we would of course have made the drug available. We are keen to make take-home naloxone available to all high-risk drug users in Peterborough and provide training for service users and their families.

Our services in Sefton and East Lancashire are an example of this. Peer mentors, high-risk service users and their families were identified and trained. Naloxone is also made available in the needle exchange, so it is available to people who were not engaged in treatment. Within the first year of the scheme, we had notification from the local ambulance service that the availability of take-home naloxone had saved three people’s lives. We also had several reports from service users, who provided anecdotal evidence that through the use of naloxone, drug-related deaths had been avoided.

We, and commissioners locally, are committed to ensuring that Peterborough has a similar service provision for take-home naloxone and are currently making this available to all high-risk service users across the city.

If the author of the article would like to discuss this further or hear about our success with naloxone in other parts of the country, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Alison Snelling, services manager, CRI Aspire, Peterborough


Get certified

Adfam and FDAP have jointly developed a competency-based certification for practitioners supporting families affected by drugs and alcohol. Adfam brings years of experience of working with both families and practitioners to the creation of this unique certification scheme, and FDAP its expertise as the professional body and membership organisation for the substance misuse sector.

Currently FDAP provides certification and accreditation services for drug and alcohol practitioners and counsellors, and accredits university courses which prepare counsellors. We urge those who work with families to consider this process of certification to demonstrate their competence in this area.

The Adfam/FDAP Drug and Alcohol Family Worker Professional Certification provides practitioners with a range of benefits including:

•             A professional competency-based certification mapped to appropriate National Occupational Standards.

•             A role profile and a code of practice to work to.

•             Ongoing support from FDAP/Adfam, including priority invites to events.

This certification is offered at the registration level. Practitioners will, as a minimum, require their employers to attest to their competence in each of the National Occupational Standards outlined in the role profile. They will also be required to develop a portfolio of continued learning to allow them to demonstrate continued professional development in order to re-accredit after three years.

It is in both practitioner and service’s interest to adopt practices which demonstrate a commitment to providing high quality services to the people and communities they serve. Ensuring practitioners remain competent and continue to develop their skills is a major component of quality management.

In this ever more cash-strapped environment with funding being reduced across the board, services are being re-tendered with contracts being awarded to new employers. It is therefore important that practitioners demonstrate the quality of their practice and services demonstrate to commissioners that the systems they utilise provide quality-assured services which effectively respond to the changing needs of the client group. This certification system will support quality management, drive continued professional development for practitioners and assist the commissioning process.

The accreditation costs £75 for three years, and includes a year’s membership of FDAP. For more information please see the FDAP website, www.fdap.org.uk or ring on 0207 234 9798.

Carole Sharma, chief executive, FDAP


Perception of doors

CRI’s drug service in Wellington Street, Hastings is, I am sure, a good service but that is not the message sent out by weary signage and a tatty door with peeling paint. Austerity is no excuse. Number ten Downing Street knows how important a symbol a front door can be. It keeps replacement doors. When one door is in need of a refurbishment, a new door replaces the old one immediately. I do not suggest for one moment that CRI can afford to do that, but a lick of paint costs little. When the Hastings service was run by Addaction, when I was in charge of communications – including building signage – the organisation believed that the portal through which frightened and stigmatised clients passed was important. It says you are valued and you are respected. Doors are important.

Rosie Brocklehurst, former director of communications, Addaction, St Leonard’s on Sea, East Sussex


Pooling resources

I work for a drugs and alcohol service in Greater Manchester and I’m aware that our team is receiving increasing numbers of referrals for Polish men who speak and read very little English. I’m looking at translating some of our promotional and therapeutic materials (such as drink diaries) into the Polish language. I’d like to hear from other services that may already have undertaken such an exercise – with a view to pooling resources. If you’d like to get in touch please contact me at alan.alker@nhs.net – any attached translated documents would be appreciated.

Alan Alker, team manager/clinical nurse specialist, Pennine Care Trust Drugs and Alcohol Service, Ashton-under-Lyne.

We value your input. Please leave a comment, you do not need an account to do this but comments will be moderated before they are displayed...