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Scotland’s first heroin clinic unveiled

 

Focusing on patients with the most severe and difficult-to-treat issues, the new £1.2m initiative is the first of its kind in Scotland.

 

Glasgow city health and social care partnership say it can’t afford not to act after a year with the highest number of drug deaths on record.

 

Unlike the proposed safe consumption facility, heroin-assisted treatment has been given the go-ahead by the Home Office.

 

Up to 20 people will be treated by the project in year one and up to 40 in year two. It aims to reduce the risk of overdose and blood-borne viruses such as HIV.

 

Patients attending the clinic will also be treated for physical health issues and helped to access social and mental support services.

 

Glasgow city health and social care partnerships says attendees must be “totally committed” to treatment.

 

Heroin will be injected only in a secure clinical room under “strict supervision” of trained nursing staff and the partnership stresses doses will never be dispensed for use elsewhere.

 

Partnership chief officer Susanne Millar said: “Sadly, Glasgow suffered a record number of drug-related deaths last year and there was also an increased number of non-fatal overdoses. This challenging social issue demands innovative treatments and this Gold Standard service is leading the way in Scotland.

 

“It is aimed at people with the most chaotic lifestyles and severe addictions who have not responded to existing treatments.

 

“People might question why health services are spending money providing heroin for people with addictions – the answer is ‘we can’t afford not to’. Not only are we are striving to save the lives of individuals themselves, but we also aim to reduce the spread of HIV and to reduce the impact of addictions on Glasgow families and communities.

 

“Successfully treating a person’s addiction not only helps them, but it also reduces pressures on frontline health and criminal justice services while reducing antisocial behaviour and drug-related crime in communities.”

 

Dr Saket Priyadarshi from Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services said heroin-assisted treatment was a “highly evidence-based” intervention.

 

He said the Glasgow service would come with “intensive psycho-social support”.

 

Westminster’s Scottish Affairs committee recently concluded there was “a strong evidence base” for a safe consumption facility in Glasgow.

 

 

This story was supplied as part of our partnership with healthandcare.scot. 

Learning preferences of Scottish GP multidisciplinary teams revealed

 

A study has revealed what changes that general practitioners, general practice nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians anticipate in the way in which they will undertake CPD over the next 12 months.

 

The authors identified that little was known about the CPD preferences of registered members of the primary healthcare teams in Scotland and therefore a survey was necessary. The survey of CPD preferences and activities of these four professions was previously published. (1)

 

This new qualitative research focuses on one question in the original survey that participants answered by writing free text.

 

‘Please describe any changes that you anticipate in the way in which you will undertake CPD over the next 12 months.’

 

There were 2,813 responses to the original questionnaire, from an estimated workforce population in Scotland of 14,000. (2, 3) The remaining 1,159 respondents provided free-text comments which were analysed.

 

The comments from the participants were collated and the following five themes were identified:

 

  • Options for learning.
  • Time.
  • Appraisal and revalidation.
  • People in transition.
  • Use of technology.

 

The study highlighted that there was a desire for face-to-face courses, for interactive learning and for a variety of learning methods. Respondents valued learning with others and Practice-Based Small Group Learning was considered to be flexible and promoted inter-professional learning and socialisation.

 

Participants felt that a lack of time for learning was seen as a barrier. There was a recognition that CPD was needed to support them as their roles developed in primary healthcare.

 

You can read the research paper by clicking here.

 

Pharmacy in Practice has invited the authors on to the PIPcast to discuss the context to these findings. You can listen and subscribe to the PIPcast by clicking here.

 

References

 

  1. Cunningham D, Alexander A, Luty S, et al. CPD preferences and activities of general practitioners, registered pharmacy staff and general practice nurses in Scotland – a questionnaire survey. Educ Prim Care. 2019;30(4):220-229.
  2. NHS Scotland. Edinburgh national health and social care workforce plan part three improving workforce planning for primary care in Scotland. [cited 2019 Oct 22] Available from here.
  3. Cunningham DAlexander ALuty S, et al. CPD preferences and activities of general practitioners, registered pharmacy staff and general practice nurses in Scotland – a questionnaire survey. Educ Prim Care. 2019;30(4):220-229.

 

Pharmacy Unions express concern at pharmacist apprenticeship proposals

 

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) and Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP) have published a joint statement about the renewed Pharmacist Apprenticeship proposal process on 25th October 2019.

 

The statement is as follows.

 

“The PDA and Guild of GHP received notification of a renewed Pharmacist Apprenticeship proposal process on 25th October 2019.

 

“As the two independent trade unions for the profession, we represent the interests and views of individual pharmacists.

 

“We led the reaction to the previous attempt to develop a proposal for an apprenticeship and the PDA was instrumental in activating over 6,000 pharmacists to respond to the consultation on that proposal. At the invitation of IFATE, the PDAU then facilitated the initial stakeholder meeting at which the GHP was also an active participant.  It became apparent that after that scrutiny the initial proposal was abandoned.

 

“Both organisations were also present at the stakeholder event in July, however, the latest process and communication makes no reference to listening to the voice of pharmacists. We are concerned with this new proposal and have invited the employer group to confirm that they intend to engage with us as they proceed, since excluding the voice of rank and file pharmacists from the process until the final consultation is what caused the significant negative response to the first proposal.

 

“We know that many pharmacists have concerns about the underlying motivations for this proposal and are concerned about the negative effect a poorly devised and delivered apprenticeship would have upon the profession as a whole. Many of our respective members are current employees in the employer group organisations and may well have very pertinent contributions to make.

 

“As representative unions, we understand the environment in which pharmacists work and have an informed opinion on the suitability of such conditions and the impact they may have on professional learning in the workplace. This impact may be beneficial, but can be negative, particularly in some commercial settings. Therefore we cannot support the proposal unless and until there are realistic assurances that apprentices will enjoy robust, well rounded and effective education and study which meets the GPhC requirements for an MPharm course; the training will allow apprentices adequate time for revision, self-directed learning and rest; and most importantly will produce registrants who whilst being at no material disadvantage compared to registrants educated via the traditional route will not threaten the status, resilience and viability of the profession as a whole.

 

“In the meantime, we feel it is imperative that we represent our members in raising these concerns at an early stage so that they can be taken into consideration by the employer group before any decision to proceed is made.

 

“We call upon the employer group and Skills for Health to listen to the voices of individual working pharmacists and engage with the profession via our two organisations.  We will be providing further information and advice to members as this proposal progresses.”

 

Director of the PDA and PDA Union Paul Day commented;

 

“The apprenticeship proposals could have a significant impact on the education and reputation of pharmacists and we are pleased to be working together with the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists to stand up for the profession and ensure that the voice of individuals pharmacists will; be heard.”

 

For further details on the story click here.

 

College of Mental Health Pharmacy announce new President

Ciara Ni Dhubhlaing, Specialist mental health pharmacist, President of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy

 

The College of Mental Health Pharmacy has announced that Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Ciara Ni Dhubhlaing will be their new President. Ciara takes over from Juliet Shepherd who will be stepping down after two years in the role.

 

Pharmacist and Director of Pharmacy at Humankind UK, Roz Gittins will take up the role of Vice-President.

 

The College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) is a charity which aims to benefit individual care through advancing education and research in the practice of mental health pharmacy. The CMHP support their members in a number of ways.

 

Their activity includes credentialing of members who demonstrate an expert level of working and share their expertise with partner organisations. They also provide opportunities for professionals to improve their knowledge about mental health conditions and their management.

 

Outgoing CMHP President Juliet Shepherd commented;

 

“I have had a wonderful couple of years leading the amazing CMHP team. I am proud to hand the Presidency over to Ciara. She is the best person I know to ensure the CMHP continues to have a bright future.”

 

Commenting on her appointment new President of the CMHP Ciara Ni Dhubhlaing said;

 

“I am very honoured to become CMHP President. The College means so much to me professionally and personally. The support enthusiasm and commitment of our members to excellence in patient care is continually inspiring.

 

“I am really looking forward to helping our marvellous committee members with all the exciting developments in their respective portfolios and to developing new relationships that can progress our charitable aims.”

 

If you would like to find out more about the College of Mental Health Pharmacy or would like to join click here.