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Advisory for primary care drug treatment

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									                   Advisory for Primary Care Drug Treatment

This project is building on an existing small network of GPs in order to convey
high quality advice, information and news thus building the skills, knowledge and
confidence of GPs in drug misuse treatment which research has shown are
blocks to their engagement. The project aims to provide more detailed advice
and higher intensity interventions by the provision of a national network of
primary care advisers who provide support to GPs, local commissioners, DATs
and other agencies. Also to pilot a clinical information exchange based on
NHSnet which will allow GPs to participate fully in care planning with the
specialist services by providing joint electronic access to patient notes.
http://www.smmgp.co.uk/




Substance Misuse Management in General Practice (SMMGP) is a developing network to support GPs and other
members of the primary health care team who work with substance misuse. The project team produces the Substance
Misuse Management in General Practice newsletter (Network), and organises the annual conference 'Managing Drug
Users in General Practice'


Based on total downloads from the site indicates approximately 2100 people
downloaded the newsletter from the web-site and two PCTs (one of which
commissions for several other PCTs) photocopy the newsletter and send it to all
their GPs totalling 453. 2 newsletters have been produced and based on these
figures the present GP circulation is at least 8112. In addition 600 newsletters
are sent to Scottish GPs. the full cost of this being met by a drug company
sponsor. 50 newsletters were sent to Welsh GPs.

The web site has continued to develop. In the last reporting period there were
8165 hits on the home page of the web site (compared to 6165 in the last report).
The interactive discussion groups (including the online surgery) are continuing to
grow and have had a total of 1692 postings.

The advisory service is very well established. Contact has been made with 35
shared care monitoring groups in the reporting period. The project has been
involved in sixteen pieces of ongoing work, 2976 office contacts and 210 face-to-
face contacts. However as shared care monitoring groups are getting more
established, GPs are getting more involved. Now that primary care involvement
is more established and mainstream and local structures such as Shared Care
Monitoring Groups are now generally in place, there is more of a need for
supporting, consolidating and developing skills, confidence and peer support and
guidance than for advising on the initial engagement of GPs. Thus the focus is
now more generally towards developing training in line with the requirements of
the new GP contract and facilitation of Primary Care networks and the
empowerment of primary care to influence their own local agendas.

The developing of a programme of national primary care guidance with the Royal
College which started with guidance on buprenorphine; the production of
Guidance on Crack and Methadone for primary care is underway.

With the Royal College of General Practitioners the project is developing a Part 1
national training programme to back up their existing certificate programme
which will offer the level of training necessary to deliver drug dependency
treatment with support, with the opportunity to move on to part 2 which aims to
move GPs towards developing a special interest. This will be operational in April
2004 and will be delivered in a variety of ways including face to face and on line.

The project has developed a partnership with another ISB project (Mercianet)
who specialise in delivering on-line training and a substantial element of the
training will be able to be delivered in this way which will be much more
convenient for many GPs. It will also make it easier to signpost via the web site
and GPs will be able to initiate their participation on-line. The course is presently
in the last stages of approval by the College Council, having already been
accepted by the National Expert Advisory Group.

In terms of developing GP networking and support on-line the project and the
RCGP have put together a proposal in partnership with the Controls Assurance
Support Unit (CASU) to the Modernisation Agency to develop a package of on-
line conferencing, meetings, resources and support for GPs involved in the
national network. This is to include things such as interactive live on-line
mentoring or peer support with video link, the ability to download videos of
training events and conferences. It would also be used to support the regional
networks presently being developed by the RCGP regional leads for substance
misuse.

The rate of GP involvement looks set to easily achieve the projected savings.
However some uncertainty has entered the field following the publication of the
new GP contract. Drug Dependency Treatment is in the National Enhanced
Service category. This makes it an ‘opt-in’ service and opinion is divided as to
the effect this will have on activity on the ground.

								
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