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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1521 staff trained

June 2nd, 2019 by

Community Safety & DAAT Training Programme 2018/19 End of Year Report

This report covers the 12 month period April 2018 – March 2019, during which time the following training courses have been delivered:
  • 18x Alcohol Intervention & Brief Advice

A total of 317 people attended and completed the 3 hour Alcohol IBA session in 2018/19.

In additional to this, there was 3 Alcohol IBA Health Check sessions run for specific teams which were attended and completed by another 24 people, making a total of 341 people in year.

  • 11x Basic Drug Awareness PLUS 1 Train the Trainer session 

A total of 222 people attended and completed the 1 day BDA course in 2018/19.

  • Train the Trainer – 1 day course – (Trainer: Kim Hager)

Developing the bank of trainers who can deliver our local course. Following the Basic Drug Awareness Train the Trainer session on 26th November 2018 we have an additional 6 trainers for this course.  All 6 trainee trainers were assigned to future BDA course dates to train alongside the existing trainers.  This has been attended by 4 trainees so far with plans to co-train again in future courses to build experience.

  • 2x Blue Light course 

A total of 36 people attended and completed the 1 day Blue Light course in 2018/19.

The Blue Light Project is Alcohol Concern’s national initiative to develop alternative approaches and care pathways for people who are dependent drinkers, who resist change and are a high users of public services.

  • 14x Community Hospital Alcohol Detoxification (CHAD) training 

Between March 2018 and November 2018 work was carried out to identify and upskill Lead nurses within CFT to provide in-service leadership, training and development on the delivery of CHAD.

An initial Train the Trainer session was delivered on 30th January 2019 led by Angela Andrews.  Since then the above courses have been delivered by CFT nurses with DAAT and GP support.

A total of 106 people have attended and completed the CHAD training session in 2018/19 (this course is delivered annually for nursing competencies).

In addition, 2 Home Alcohol Detox training sessions have been delivered across 5 pharmacies, to enable them to support home detoxification from alcohol.

  • 4x Connect 5 Stage 1 Mental Wellbeing training 

Connect 5 is an evidence based collaborative prevention toolkit that promotes psychological knowledge, understanding and awareness and development of skills which empower people to take proactive steps to build resilience and look after themselves.

A total of 59 people attended and completed a Stage 1 Connect 5 course.  The subsequent Stage 2 and 3 will follow in 2019/20 programme.

  • 11x Dual Diagnosis courses 

This course is run specifically for mental health services and drug & alcohol service staff.  A total of 174 people attended and completed the 2 day Dual Diagnosis course in 2018/19.

Due to a number of requests and feedback we are looking to open the availability of this course to the wider training circulation in the 2019/20 programme.

  • 5x Mental Health First Aid courses 

A total of 76 people attended and completed the 2 day accredited Mental Health First Aid course in 2018/19.

No courses were delivered in Q4, due to the external accredited trainer moving out of county.  We are currently in the process of locating another trainer.

  • 10x Motivational Interviewing (general) 

A total of 195 people attended and completed the 1 day general MI course in 2018/19.

The DAAT have now brought the delivery of Motivational Interviewing course in-house, so we no longer require an external trainer to deliver.  Since October 2018, J

  • 7x Routine Enquiry into Adverse Childhood Experiences

A total of 137 people attended and completed the 1 day REACh training in 2018/19 (this course was introduced in Q3 of the programme).

The services that have attended and completed the REACh training in 2018/19 are DASV service staff, First Episode Psychosis Team, Young People Cornwall, Penhaligon Friends, Intercom Trust, Bosence Farm and Boswyns (including the YP Unit).

We will be organising an extra session for Young People Cornwall in June/July 2019 due to the number of staff still requiring the training.

  • 3x Time Credits and Supporting Asset Based Training 

Tempo Ltd are commissioned by DAAT to embed Time Credits into complex needs services (recovery, homelessness and Domestic Abuse) throughout the Area.  This training gives management and delivery staff an understanding of what to expect and how to utilise the currency in order to drive impact within client support planning in an asset-based approach.

A total of 42 people attended and completed the 3 hour Time Credits session in 2018/19 (this course was introduced in Q2 of the programme).

  • 11x Young People’s Substance Awareness and Screening 

A total of 133 people attended and completed the 1 day YP Screening course in 2018/19.

 

This is a total of 1521 staff in Cornwall in 2018/19.

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Celebrating Volunteers

June 1st, 2019 by

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Cove Ward: one year on, no one treated out of county

March 11th, 2019 by

A mental health unit in Cornwall is celebrating its first birthday with the news that not a single person an acute mental health condition has had to travel over the Tamar for specialist inpatient care.

Since the 15-bed Cove ward in Redruth opened its doors last March, people are being cared for in the county. The Cove, based at Longreach House in Redruth, is a fast-tracked, psychologically informed rehabilitation unit, and aims to promote a patient-centred, fast-tracked discharge and support patients to return to, and remain well in the community.

It was opened as part of a number of initiatives to address the pressures faced by acute inpatient mental health services, whilst preventing out of county adult acute inpatient mental health services and provide a better service for people.

Dr Paul Cook, Chairman of the Crisis Care Concordat, said: “It is an amazing achievement that no one with an acute mental health condition has needed to travel out of Cornwall to receive care for an acute mental health condition since 1 April 2018.

“The Cove Ward is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when people from across health and care work together to look after people and provide care nearer to their homes and families.

“Vulnerable people are now receiving the very best care closer to home, helping to prepare them for independent living and a return to the community.

“We know this approach has better outcomes for people’s recovery.

“This is ahead of the Government’s deadline and puts Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly well ahead of the majority of other health care systems in the country. Everyone working in Cornwall’s health and care system should be rightly proud of this achievement.”

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Safer Cornwall Training Programme 2019-20

March 6th, 2019 by

Accessible training to help identify risk, reduce harm and support people in the process of change.

The DAAT offers a range of training opportunities to improve knowledge, skills, awareness and joint working across a range of areas, particularly mental health. The courses are available to internal and external staff and run throughout the year.

 

 

We offer the following courses:

  • Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice
  • Basic Drug Awareness
  • Connect 5 Mental Wellbeing Stage 1
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Time Credits and Supporting Asset Based Working
  • Young People’s Substance Awareness & Screening

For more information please visit our page here

Email: DAATevents@cornwall.gov.uk

Telephone: 01726 223400

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Cornwall Licensing Policy update

February 6th, 2019 by

On January 22nd, after being proposed by the Cornwall Licensing Act Committee, Cornwall Council voted in an updated Alcohol Licensing Policy Statement. This will now be in place for the next 5 years, setting the tone for how alcohol should be sold in Cornwall.

This new policy, which can be seen in full here, embeds some important work that has been undertaken by Cornwall’s Public Health and Community Safety teams in the last 3 years.

Local Authority Public Health Departments have been a Licensing Responsible Authority since 2012, but nationally had relatively little input into Licensing cases and culture.

This gap was addressed by Public Health England (PHE) in the initial Local Alcohol Action Areas and then in their ‘Health as a Licensing Objective’ (HaLO) pilot schemes.

Cornwall was invited by PHE to participate in the 2016-17 HaLO pilot scheme, and we created a postcode responsive tool that can help to quickly assess the alcohol related risks in any given area.

 

This HaLO tool, now renamed the ‘Health Impact Licensing Tool’ (HILT) has been seen as a national example of good practice, used in PHE webinars, presented to the Local Government Association and the House of Lords Licensing Committee, and to the academic ‘United Kingdom Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies’ (UKCTAS).

The HILT tool has been used operationally to evaluate Cornwall’s Cumulative Impact Zones, and to contribute contextual evidence to a License revocation case against a premises in a violent hotspot within a Cumulative Impact Zone.

After a draft and consultation led by Julie Flower of CC Licensing team, the new Cornwall 5 year Licensing Policy Statement was voted through unopposed by full Council yesterday 22/01/19.

 

From a Public Health and Community Safety perspective, this policy:

  1. Embeds work done in the last 3 years,
  2. Puts these achievements into written policy, and
  3. Makes them a standard part of Cornwall Licensing policy and culture for the next 5 years.

This includes:

  • Public Health as a standard aspect of Licensing and alcohol retail (p6-7);
  • National guidance on responsible drinking, which can then be used to critique irresponsible drink promotions (p7);
  • The 10 Safer Towns initiative to address wider issues (p10);
  • ‘What Will Your Drink Cost?’ as an ongoing available flexible targeted messaging brand and campaign (p10);
  • Cumulative Impact Policies and mapping (p11 and 47);
  • The protection of children from harm (p21 and 66);
  • Public Health as a Responsible Authority (p49-51), including:
    • Alcohol Related Hospital Admissions;
    • The impact of alcohol in Cornwall;
    • HILT – The ‘Health Impact Licensing Tool’;
    • ARID – The ‘Assault Related Injuries Database’; and
    • Alcohol retail quality standards.
  • Drugs policies (p59-60), and
  • The responsibility of premises to have a supply of ‘spikies’ to raise awareness and keep customers safe (p65).

This now normalises pilot work that has been undertaken by the DAAT, Public Health, Safer Cornwall and Amethyst Community Safety Intelligence, allowing it to have long term application and impact in Licensing and Alcohol retail in Cornwall.

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Infection Control for Injecting Drug Users January 2019

January 24th, 2019 by

PHE and Health Protection, Cornwall and Plymouth have issued the following notice:-

  • During 2018, we have received reports of invasive injection site infections from across the South West.  This has included an outbreak of iGAS and most recently two cases of rare Fusobacterium gonidiaformans.
  • Once individuals become infected their health can rapidly deteriorate particularly within the most vulnerable segments of this population, where the consequences can be life-threatening.
  • It is imperative that anyone working with injecting drug users delivers the full range of harm reduction information and advice  – particularly around the risks of injecting site infections.
  • Some drug users lick their needles after injecting believing that this sterilises. This increases risk, due to germs we all carry in the mouth that once they enter the bloodstream of injectors, become a new threat. Please reiterate that this is not a safe practice.
  • Encourage and facilitate users with signs of infection (attached) to get prompt medical attention.
  • Needle Exchange remains a critical component of the care pathway, and is an evidence based intervention supported by NICE and the UK clinical guidelines for substance misuse. Please do everything you can to support people to be aware of the risks of sharing or reusing equipment and to use new equipment every time.

A poster detailing key advice on safe injecting and infection control. Safe_injecting_poster

Hand washing video from Harm Reduction Works

Cleaning works: how to clean a used syringe Harm Reduction Works Video

 

Harm Reduction Works injecting and infections leaflet

 

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Safer St Austell sleep out in solidarity

December 7th, 2018 by

Spending a night under the stars may seem like a good idea during the summer, but a group of community workers got a glimpse of the grim reality of homelessness at a special event in St Austell last night.

Officers from the Safer St Austell team spent the night at White River Place protected only by sleeping bags and cardboard.

The event was organised to highlight the issue of homelessness, as well as to help promote the local support services available and to demonstrate how well individuals are supported within St Austell.

 

The group, which included representatives from Addaction, Cosgarne Hall, SAHA Freshstart, Cornwall Council’s Community Safety, Localism and Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Mayor Gary King, Deputy Mayor Tim Styles and Cornwall Councillor James Mustoe slept out between 10pm and 6am, enduring a long damp night.

Helen Catherall, Addaction worker, said: “Homelessness is a sign. It tells us that there has been a crisis or that there is an underlying issue. Ironically, homelessness is barrier to accessing support when it’s needed the most. This is why it is so important to report rough sleeping to Streetlink either via their online reporting system or by telephoning Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 to ensure support is offered.”

Gareth Bray, Chairman of Cosgarne Hall Board of Trustees, said: “St Austell has a long history supporting those who are homeless going back to the 1800s and we are pleased to be involved with the sleep out to continue to raise awareness around support services. We want to highlight that although we are raising awareness through this event those who have attended had a choice to sleep out whereas those who are homeless do not have this choice.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said:  “Homelessness is an issue we are determined to tackle, and events such as this help raise awareness of the problem.

“It is vital we do all we can to encourage people to contact Streetlink if you see anyone sleeping on the streets. The sooner we are informed, the quicker we can offer the support that these vulnerable people need.”

Advice for residents and businesses

  • If you see someone sleeping rough you can contact Streetlink via www.streetlink.org.uk or 0300 500 0914 (or 999 if they need urgent medical assistance).  Individuals sleeping rough can contact the Cornwall Housing Options Team on 0300 1234 161 or drop into an Information Service (formerly called One Stop Shop).
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Safer Cornwall are a working partnership involving: