Drink and Drugs News DDN May 2020 - Page 12

SERVICES RAPID RESPONSE Lee Wilson explains how Humankind’s partnership in Leeds has been pulling out all the stops to keep service users and their families safe T he flexibility and innovation shown by the sector across the UK has been phenomenal and we are very proud of how all our partnerships have worked collaboratively to meet service user needs. The Humankind partnership service in Leeds is a fantastic example of this. Forward Leeds and their aftercare service 5 WAYS have put in place a comprehensive programme that continues to support people when their traditional recovery network has fallen away. The new programme consists of eight Zoom meetings a week, including a SMART meeting, three general recovery groups, a quiz, an adult learning course and mindfulness, and we’ve just added ‘song of the week’ which is a discussion on songs that service users are finding inspirational. There is also a range of mindfulness videos and ‘five ways to wellbeing’ videos on our YouTube channel that are accessible to anyone, as well as podcasts to download, and our group workers have made lots of their written resources available to for anyone to download. These digital interventions are just part of a package of support that we’ve put in place. We’ve called each of our 3,300+ service users in Leeds to make sure they’re ok, and for those we couldn’t reach by phone we’re carrying out home visits. Importantly we’re still working with all our clients towards their treatment goals using video calls and Zoom whenever possible to make the experience as rich as we can. Our clinical and prescribing team has worked A HUB IN GOOD HEALTH There’s a new version of business as usual, says Sam Thomson at North Yorkshire Horizon’s Selby hub I n normal times, our Selby hub is a really busy place. We’ve got a town centre location and we’re well known in the community, but people can visit us discreetly. We have appointments, referrals, triages and group meetings, and we run the breakfast club. The Selby hub offers health and wellbeing checks including health screenings, blood testing and vaccinations. We work closely with 12 • DRINK AND DRUGS NEWS • MAY 2020 local partners including the food bank and a homelessness charity. Workers run several outreach clinics in the rural district. A lot of things have changed since the lockdown, but we continue to treat people with respect and support them fully. This is paying dividends because people are telling us they understand that things have had to change, and they appreciate the work we’re doing to keep the impact of the changes to a minimum. Everyone has been happy with the social distancing we practise in the hub, and we’ve had no problems. Obviously, we’re being vigilant about our high-risk clients and constantly assessing how we can support them and their loved ones while they’re shielding and self- isolating. The team is focused on doing psychosocial interventions on the phone, offering regular harm minimisation advice and continuing to give out naloxone kits. We’re also posting information out to clients. Our hub is open to answer the phone, cover reception and offer open access needle exchange. We’re continuing to take referrals and offer triages and comprehensive assessments. Something that we feel is very important is to signpost our service users to SMART online WWW.DRINKANDDRUGSNEWS.COM