Safer Camborne and Plymouth Argyle Team Up to Host Sports Event for Young People

November 8th, 2019 by

Safer Camborne joined up with Plymouth Argyle Community Trust to deliver a fun one-day event this October half-term for young people aged 8-16 in the Camborne area.

On 24 October a full day of sports including handball, football, rugby and more was delivered to young people in the Camborne area by the highly skilled coaches at PAFC Community Trust. The day, paid for with funds from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, also gave young people the opportunity to meet with some of the fantastic agencies who provide support for young people locally including the Penwith Community Development Trust, Headstart Kernow, Addaction YZUP, Cornwall Fire & Rescue, Devon and Cornwall Police and Camborne Town Council.

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New commissioned street outreach response team

October 30th, 2019 by

Rough sleepers across Cornwall will receive outreach support thanks to Addaction and Cornwall Housing funded via Cornwall Council.

Addaction Cornwall, who currently provide drug and alcohol support in the area, has been awarded the Rough Sleepers Outreach Contract by Cornwall Housing.

As part of the project, Addaction outreach workers will be employed to engage and support some of Cornwall’s most vulnerable people currently living on the street. The project will run in partnership with the charity Homeless Link’s StreetLink service.

If a member of the public is concerned about someone sleeping rough they can send an alert to StreetLink through the mobile app, www.streetlink.org.uk, or by calling 0300 500 0914. The referral will be sent to Addaction Cornwall and an outreach worker will go to the location where the rough sleeper was seen at to engage and support them.

Outreach workers will develop personalised care plans for rough sleepers, supporting them into housing and treatment services. They will also carry the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone to extend harm reduction efforts.

Lynda Edward is the Multiple Complex Needs Manager at Addaction Cornwall and will be managing the service. Lynda said:

“We know that many people who are forced to sleep on the streets have multiple complex needs such as drug and alcohol and mental health issues. Often these people can struggle to engage with services so, rather than waiting for them to come to us, this project is about proactively engaging and supporting this group. outreach workers will provide a package of care focused on helping people get the personalised support they need. This could be accompanying them to a housing appointment, helping them access drug treatment or helping them with financial issues. All support will be centred around the needs of the individual.

“No one should have to sleep rough in Cornwall or anywhere else. We believe this dedicated service can help many people start to rebuild their lives.”

Nick Cross, Cornwall Housing Managing Director adds “We recognise the passion the Addaction team have to help people make changes and improve their lives. We look forward to bringing together the newly commissioned street outreach response team with our wider services to prevent and relieve homelessness in Cornwall.

“Over the last few years Cornwall Housing has worked to reduce the number of rough sleepers across the county. I have no doubt that with Addaction’s support we will be able to support the most vulnerable so no one needs to sleep rough in Cornwall.”

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Time Credits: a success story but what does the future hold?

October 16th, 2019 by

Impact and successes

Time Credits, commissioned by Cornwall Council has been delivered by Tempo since 2017.  The project helps to support vulnerable individuals with multiple needs to better engage with and contribute to their communities by earning credits through volunteering and spending them at the various spend opportunities that have been created across the county.

The first client group was made up of people with complex and multiple needs, including drug and alcohol problems or those experiencing issues with homelessness.  The idea being that if we could make it work for our most vulnerable individuals we could make it work for anyone.   The project started in Penzance so spend partners could be successfully recruited before rolling out to other areas.  Time Credits now work with those who have experienced Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and also with young people and has expanded across Cornwall.

This is the Cornwall Time credit that was co-produced with service users and agencies in Cornwall.  Individuals are awarded a time credit for each hour of volunteering.

 

This has been a very successful project, exceeding all targets.  There are now over 40 spend partners, including  Cornwall College, Merlin and WCT cinemas, Better Leisure; Hall for Cornwall and Flambards.  There are also 50 Earn partners/Community groups involved including Addaction, Harbour Housing, Newstart and other supported housing providers; DASV services and refuges; Young people services including the YOS and accommodation foyers.  There are 644 signed up members, which is almost 3 times more than the target of 235 people.

The Tempo National Impact on success states that:

  • 80% report improved quality of life
  • 63% feel more able to contributed to the community and other people
  • 59% share their skills with others
  • 57% feel less isolated and lonely
  • 55% develop new friends and acquaintances
  • 54% feel more positive about their future

 

One of our Earn Partners said the following:

“Supporting the residents to engage in voluntary work and being able to acknowledge and reward them is a massive boost to their confidence, self-esteem & well-being.”

Rachel Battleday, Cosgarne Hall

“Time Credits makes me more engaged and involved with STAK outings and has allowed me to try things and visit places I wouldn’t have been able to on my pension. It’s such a wonderful idea.”

St Austell Community Kitchen User

 

Moving forwards

The contract and funding for this very successful project is due to come to an end in March 2020.  It has achieved all targets; signed up almost 3 times the number of vulnerable individuals than expected.  It is now time for us to decide whether or not this project continues.

In November, a visioning day, is being planned in order to consider the options and agree the best way to progress.

 

 

 

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Multi-agency working to combat drug litter

October 16th, 2019 by

Community Safety Drug Litter ½ Year Report 2019/20

Outreach workers from Addaction and the Local Police Teams attend sites of reported drug litter to provide assertive outreach to those affected.

Members of the public are asked to report drug litter to Cornwall Council and once received this information is cascaded to Addaction and the local Police so they can attend the affected area and offer support and advice to anyone who may need it.

Over the last 6 months there have been 72 reports of drug litter to Cornwall Council and the most prevalent areas are Newquay (15), Penzance (15), St Austell (9) and Camborne (7).

Graph shows litter request for April to September 2018 compared to the same time period in 2019.

There has been a reduction in the number of drug litter requests in Penzance and St Austell. The reason for this reduction is unknown although one possible explanation is the extra time and resources dedicated to assertive outreach in these areas.

Below is a breakdown of the drug litter requests for the last 6 months for further information.

 

 

 

 

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Homeless charity Harbour Housing is celebrating a decade of its Naloxone scheme which works to combat opioid overdoses

October 10th, 2019 by

Naloxone is a Competitive Opioid Antagonist which simply put means that it is a drug that can temporarily reverse the effects of an overdose through knocking the opioids off the receptors. It has been described by staff at Harbour as a ‘miracle drug’ as it can bring people back from the brink of death, and has been used to successfully prevent 46 cases of overdose at Harbour since it was introduced in 2009.

The drug is administered via syringe directly into the muscle and is incredibly fast acting, in most cases reviving the patient in mere minutes.

Jade Barron, a tenancy sustainment officer at Harbour, has intervened in several overdose situations and said:

“It’s incredible how quickly the Naloxone takes effect, people can be revived immediately and the great thing about it is that there are no negative side-effects so it’s completely safe to use. “Sometimes it acts as a wakeup call. I’ve had a resident be brought back with Naloxone and the next week decide to fully commit to recovery.”

Public Health England estimates that every unexpected death costs around £1.4 million, so with each Naloxone kit costing less than £20 it is clear that easier access to this life-saving drug could help to save thousands of lives, as well as taxpayer money.

Harbour was approached by Marion Barton, social inclusion lead for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT), in 2009 and asked to pilot the scheme. At the time Harbour was tolerant to alcohol use on site but not the use of drugs, and despite this had sadly lost residents to overdose. It was for this reason, says Chris Abbott Harbour’s head of housing, that management decided to go ahead with the project.

 

 

Naloxone was more heavily regulated back in 2009 and could only be prescribed directly to a drug user, which was not an effective way to ensure their safety as they would be unable to use it on themselves in an overdose situation. Harbour has been instrumental in developing national Naloxone policy, helping to influence the change in 2015 that allowed the drug to be prescribed to a responsible person and kept in communal areas of supported accommodation facilities.

Over the ten years Naloxone has become an integral part of Harbour’s harm reduction procedure, with kits easily available across all of its properties in boxes attached directly to the walls as well as in first-aid kits and kept in vehicles.

After the development of the Naloxone scheme, Harbour was assisted by drug and housing policy expert Kevin Flemen to adjust its own policy to become tolerant to use of drugs within the law. Through having this high tolerance to both drug and alcohol use Harbour has been able to accept referrals from those who would otherwise have nowhere else to go. People struggling with addiction need the right support to be able to manage their substance use, and Harbour says

that their tolerant ‘eyes wide open’ approach allows for honesty and trust between staff and residents which has a really positive impact on recovery.

Drug use is much more dangerous when it is kept hidden, and recent figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed that drug related deaths reached an all-time high of 4,359 across England and Wales last year. Naloxone has become much more widespread in recent years, and thanks to the hard work of the DAAT it is now available in all supported accommodations across Cornwall.

All staff, residents and volunteers at Harbour are trained in the administration of Naloxone, and in recent years Harbour has also trained members of staff from other supported accommodations. The increase in availability of this life- saving drug is hoped to reduce the harm to people struggling with addiction and stop the rise of preventable deaths.

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We like to recognise some of the amazing work that our volunteers do

September 16th, 2019 by

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SW Peninsular Drug Related Death Conference 2019

September 4th, 2019 by

The ninth annual Drug Related Death Conference will take place on Friday 6th September 2019 at The China Fleet Club, Saltash. Once again kind donations from the Cornwall DAAT, Public Health Devon, Devon and Cornwall Police and sponsorship from companies associated with drug treatment/ harm reduction have allowed this conference to be provided free to delegates.

This is always a popular conference with guest speakers and agencies coming together to share best practice, learning from drug related deaths and preventative strategies. This year is no exception with an eclectic mix of plenaries being delivered;

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor drugs interaction with MDMA (Ecstasy) and other drug interactions
  • Lung health, spirometry, smoking cessation
  • Help for Homeless Lead GP to cover his work and alternative approaches to treatment
  • Public Health Devon- web based portal for drugs identification
  • Police- partnership agency information sharing form & inter agency working
  • Psychologically informed environments and trauma led approaches for those in supported housing
  • Invasive Group A Streptococcus infection and preventative measures
  • Drug and alcohol workers- a perspective from the frontline focussing on when a service user dies and the impact upon the worker etc.
  • Tubercuosis screening within the homeless community and a successful Public Health pilot

The subjects are chosen in part having reviewed the drug related deaths leading up to the conference where learning and identification of preventative measures are used as a framework for conference.

This year has seen the number of places available for the conference far outnumbered by the demand so this will be the biggest conference in the 9 years of it being held.

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International Overdose Awareness Day

August 6th, 2019 by

On Friday 30th August 2019 Cornwall DAAT and partners will be holding an awareness and training event to coincide with International Overdose Awareness Day.

Every year in Cornwall a proportion of drug related deaths could have been averted by prompt action at the scene. This could be something simple like calling an ambulance immediately or carrying out prompt and effective first aid. Due to the associated illegality of drug use these simple and potentially life-saving actions are sometimes either delayed or not carried out at all. Myths such as calling an ambulance will also alert the Police still abound.

This will be the third successive event in Cornwall to raise awareness of drug overdose, first aid and many related issues. Previous events have been held in Truro and Penzance. It will be held in the White River Centre at St Austell between 1000 and 1600. As per previous years there will be training in first aid to include resuscitation, placing someone in the recovery position and administering the life-saving drug Naloxone which is now widely available in Cornwall thanks to great partner agency working. Recognising that someone is overdosing and acting quickly is important. Breaking down the stereotypes, letting people know the facts and myth busting is very much a part of this day. Leaflets and other information will be available together with experienced personnel to answer questions. We have signposted many people in the past towards relevant services and support.

To that end, volunteers will include staff and service users from Cosgarne Hall, Freshstart, Addaction workers, DAAT and the Community Safety Team.

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Sean’s Story

July 9th, 2019 by

A new film from NHS England aims to highlight the dangers of over-prescribing of opioids for chronic pain and shows how a patient, Sean Jennings, from Cornwall changed his life with other treatment.

The film release has been timed to coincide with Sean’s appearance at the House of Lords to speak at a special committee about coping with chronic pain and using alternatives from opioids to cope.

Opioids are often prescribed for patients to deal with long term pain and recent studies have challenged the appropriateness of the levels of prescribing. There is little evidence to show that they are helpful for long term pain, their use will be regulated, and their use monitored more closely now that the harms of prescribing these types of medicines are better understood.

‘Sean’s Story’ is a video that tells the story of Sean Jennings from Cornwall who had a hernia operation 25 years ago and due to an infection, ended up suffering chronic pain. For many years, Sean was taking large doses of opioids which presented numerous side effects and yet he still suffered from continued chronic pain. The film shows how long-term use of high-dose opioid prescribing had a devastating impact on his quality of life and how non-drug therapy has been life changing for Sean

As the pain continued to get worse without relief from opioids, Sean asked his GP to be put on a pain management programme. The pain management programme is specifically designed to help patients develop appropriate long-term coping strategies for living with long term pain.

Sean said: “Every day I was taking more and more painkillers, and I thought I was all right, but I really wasn’t very well. I realised that I wasn’t functioning properly and sought further help from my GP as I just couldn’t cope. He put me on the pain management programme and that changed my life.”

Through alternative therapies such as mindfulness and meditation, Sean has been able to deal with his pain without the reliance on opioids to manage. The film aims to encourage and inspire patients with chronic pain to seek alternatives to prescription opioids to help deal with their condition.

Sean added: “I learnt how to exercise gently and do a little bit of Tai Chi and mindfulness. To start with – mindfulness, I didn’t understand that but, as a sceptic, it works. I’m 18 months now without taking opioids, no gabapentin, nothing for pain whatsoever. The pain hasn’t gone away – it’s simply the way I deal with it now, and I do this through mindfulness.”

The film is also aimed at medical professionals to encourage them to consider incorporating psychological therapies into their patient’s care when they are prescribing opioids for pain. It aims to highlight the over-medication of some patients and to consider referrals to pain management courses which are widely available.

Dr Jim Huddy, who leads on chronic pain at Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “What we’re hoping for is that Sean’s story can implant what you might call a lightbulb moment for people who are in a similar situation with chronic pain, on high doses of opioids and who haven’t considered that there could be another way to manage their pain and lead their lives.

“For prescribers, I sympathise with the time-constraints and the pressures that we have in consultations. Chronic pain consultations are really challenging, and patient expectations can sometimes be high. They expect a prescription and to start the process of changing that can be really difficult. So, we totally understand why doctors often reach for the prescription pad. Hopefully that will slowly change, but it will be a slow change.”

Sean’s Story will be played in the House of Lords on Tuesday 25 June before an all-party parliamentary group on chronic pain. The group aims to raise awareness of chronic pain and to provide a forum for discussion and debate on issues relating to prevention, treatment and management of chronic pain.

Sean added: “It will be a great honour and privilege to speak at the House of Lords as this is such a personal issue for me and for many others having to live with constant pain. I hope my story will inspire and help others.”

NHS England South West Medical Director, Dr Michael Marsh, said: “This film aims to highlight to prescribers, such as GPs, and to also make patients aware that there are alternatives to opioids to help deal with chronic pain. By integrating psychological therapy with physical health services, the NHS can provide a more efficient support to this group of people with chronic pain and achieve better outcomes.”

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HOT at RCHT

June 6th, 2019 by

Innovative ‘HOT Team’ project to address alcohol A&E figures

In April 2018, national figures demonstrated that the number of people being admitted to A&E departments in England is the highest since records began.  Additional research has evidenced that a substantial amount of individuals frequently attending A&E departments are struggling with problematic drug and alcohol use.

Addaction, Cornwall’s commissioned drug and alcohol treatment service, has launched a rapid response team to cut the number of people frequently attending the hospital’s A&E department due to alcohol or drugs.

The HOT Team (Hospital Outreach Team) is the first team in the country to link up with a major Hospital to deliver a collaborative service offer to patients struggling with problematic alcohol and/or drug use, often becoming frequent attenders.

Addaction’s HOT team and RCHT was recently featured on ITV West Country News and the project is clearly thriving; with RCHT reporting a dramatic reduction in frequent attender numbers. The report was overwhelmingly positive and reflected the dynamic and innovative work being done in Cornwall to address the needs of some of our most vulnerable community members.

As a result of the HOT team’s success in Cornwall, the Government is now evaluating the project and considering delivering it across the country’s 50 major hospitals. This project is a great example of the collaborative work between the Commissioning team and Addaction, who continue to support a multi-agency response and service offer to individuals struggling with various vulnerabilities, including drug and alcohol related harm.

Author: Anna MacGregor

 

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