DDN Sept_2022 September 2022 - Page 18

OUTREACH SERVICES

MAKING INROADS

An intensive and innovative outreach service is making a life-changing impact on the streets of North London , say Adam Denny and Mike Coffey
PERSONALISED AND INTENSIVE SUPPORT
Adam says …
Our teams are small but powerful – made up of outreach workers , a women ’ s specialist worker and dual diagnosis coordinator , as well as having a clinical prescribing element to provide rapid OST prescribing , opiate treatment support and health and wellbeing checks such as BBV testing .
Most of our days are spent walking the streets and talking with rough sleepers about the
support and treatment we offer , and attending the sleep sites and hostels of our clients to provide ongoing care .
A key objective is to help stabilise the people we work with and reduce the barriers for them to access structured community support . This is a heavily marginalised group , and we work hard to use an accommodating and trauma-informed approach , which can have a hugely positive impact on their health and wellbeing .
It can be challenging to help our clients maintain their
OST prescriptions , because of the complexities of addiction , mental health and homelessness , but engaging individuals into treatment as soon as possible is vital to minimise the risk of overdose . Identifying people that may be struggling and providing them with the support they need to re-engage with treatment is also essential , especially when they ’ re released from prison or hospital .
JOINED-UP APPROACH We work closely with housing teams , hostels , community drug
and alcohol support services and other outreach teams ( such as Routes off The Streets in Camden and various outreach partners in Islington ), prison and criminal justice partners , and community safety teams to help us build a full picture our clients ’ history and needs . A day can quickly shift from meetings into supporting a highrisk individual by escorting them to an appointment , delivering an OST prescription to a pharmacy , or even calling an ambulance in an emergency situation – so being flexible and adapting to what our clients need is key !
Vladimir Vinogradov / iStock
18 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • SEPTEMBER 2022 WWW . DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS . COM