Thursday 10th March saw our first regional meeting for 2019 and it was the turn of the Guideline Development Group for Substance Misuse Disorders to share with us all of the hard work they have been doing over the past 12 months.
The current guidelines were last reviewed in 2010 so it was definitely time to look for new evidence and to see just how we are helping and supporting people across Cheshire and Merseyside.
The group screened over 700 articles. Much of the literature focuses on prevalence, risk factors and demographics.It is certainly an area of palliative care which needs more research in the future. We learnt that without assessment we will fail to recognise people who are experiencing problems. There are different screening tools available but none are validated in the palliative care population at the moment.
We also learnt that pain can be more complex to manage. There is some transfer ability from NICE guidance and DH guidance. There is also some helpful advice through the Royal College of Anesthetists Faculty of Pain Medicine. Dspite this it remains a very challenging area for health care professionals.
Clearly we should not be under treating pain for fear of misuse and in general our communication needs to improve. We need to listen to people tell us about their experiences. Just in general we need to improve how we support the more marginalised groups of people in our society
The survey of health care professionals revealed that staff need more education, an opportunity to develop their skills in this area and more support.
It was great to see that 73 cases had been submitted for the clinical audit from across the Network with hospital, hospice and community colleagues participating. Care coordination is something that we need to focus on. It was also good to hear contributions from our Patient and Public representative Bob Giles
To get copies of the audit results please contact our Coordinator Karen Ross
Following discussion the group will now draft the new guideline which will then start the internal and external review process. We hope that by early summer the final version will be live on the website and will of course be NICE accredited. We know that the new guideline will feature more about alcohol misuse assessment psychological issues, support and inter service collaboration
Finally just to say a huge thank you and congratulations to everyone who is part of this GDG. This work is so important and we are very grateful to you for helping to produce the new guidelines which we know will be so useful to many of us in our daily work