December 2020 - Page 16



I AM A ...

Two of the team from Brook Drive , the only third sector detox service in London , tell us about their careers – and the challenges past and present
12-step meetings and peer support .
Would I recommend a career in this field ? Absolutely ! But be warned , it can be very challenging , and sometimes tragic . On the flip side it can be incredibly rewarding , humorous and energetic . My old life was not all bad , even though it nearly killed me . But I would not change its best moments for the worst I have today .
Martin Holmes is service manager and registered CQC manager cravings or felt that the detox was rushed . I also managed successful home detoxes , and I yearned to work in a busy detox unit and implement what I learnt in the community . Working at Brook Drive has enabled me to do this .
The psychosocial and clinical teams work together ‘ hand in glove ’ to achieve the best outcomes , and our practices are underpinned by robust policies and comprehensive medical input .
At our 26-bed residential detox service we offer medically assisted detoxification from drugs and alcohol to clients nationwide . I ’ ve worked in the field of drug and alcohol treatment for the last 11 years , both nationally and internationally , and am very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way . Before this I worked for Ford building and supplying the world with diesel engines . Alongside , I was a part time criminal and full-time drug addict . Needless to say , neither of these other careers ended well and it took a near death experience to bring me back from the brink . I am humbled that my past has become my greatest asset in helping others to freedom .
As a result of the pandemic , we can only operate a maximum occupancy of 18 beds compliant with government guidelines . Residents are tested upon arrival and must selfisolate until the results are returned within 48 hours . Negative residents move to the upper floor and positive ( none so far ) residents would be required to self-isolate throughout their stay on the ground floor .
We provide 24-hour nursing care , overseen by our clinical lead and partner GP practice . Alongside our clinical team we have a psychosocial team of recovery workers and volunteers . Our administration team ensures precise bed management and communication with referring agencies to make sure admission dates are offered as soon as possible , while our housekeeping team keep Brook Drive clean and sanitised around the clock and our chef provides excellent healthy food options catering for individual needs and detox regimes .
Brook Drive has a wonderful family feel thanks to the very close working relationships of our multidisciplinary team of professionals . They share the same vision : the best possible outcomes for each resident . We also try to involve families as part of treatments as we are aware that the residents ’ recovery capital is healthier when the family is involved . We also facilitate online
My first job in substance misuse was back in 2005 , when I was desperate to leave shift work and grabbed the first nine to five job I was offered . I intended to work there for six months but 15 years later I am still in this field .
Before Brook Drive , I worked in community services , prison and detox / rehab . As an independent nurse prescriber , I worked with clients who were desperate for inpatient detox , but many relapsed following discharge . Several told me that they left still having
‘ I intended to work there for six months but 15 years later I am still in this field .’
Staff training , both in-house and external , enables the service to deliver safe , effective care that is pivotal to its clients ’ recovery .
Working here has been a steep learning curve . The teamwork has been of paramount importance and the psychosocial input is enhanced by clinical team input . The recovery team are part of the admissions process and are trained to carry out vital observations working closely with the clinical team . At Brook Drive there is no ‘ them and us ’, but ‘ we ’ – and we ’ ll continue working towards excellence .
Muriel Gutu is group clinical lead of the Social Interest Group
OUR ‘ I AM A …’ CAREERS SERIES aims to share knowledge and experience of different careers in the sector . You can take part through the ‘ get in touch ’ button on our website : www . drinkanddrugsnews . com / i-am-a /