Here are some comments received via this website.
Please feel free to comment yourself via the “Contact” section. All comments we receive will be kept in confidence and I will ask your permission before reproducing an anonymous version in this section. If you are happy for your name to be included I will add it to your comment.
What do you think?
The real problem in my opinion lies in the PHE indicators for drug treatment, in particular the second of the two, not returning for 6 months; this plays into the hands of the third sector to the detriment of the NHS. We all want to see more people ‘successfully’ leaving drug treatment but we all know that a minority do so, should a relapse occur we should have systems where people can return to the safety of treatment and have another go in the future if that is what is desired. Too many third sector agencies set themselves up as recovery focused, win new contracts and begin encouraging MMT patients to detox, reduce and leave. The trouble is that they do not allow a significant proportion back into treatment once relapse has occurred, which as we all know happens. Many are older and turn to drink as a way of coping and then are refused re-entry as their presenting problem is alcohol. Many more are unwell, in their early 50s and later, no charity wants the burden of their healthcare on their books and so are disinclined to keep them on. Where is the healthcare within these agencies, for many clients now, health and the quality of life is the real issue, not being perceived as being ‘parked’ on methadone by newly commissioned agencies intent on fulfilling their contract. The NHS however will never let them down and will suffer in consequence. I think it no coincidence that the DRD rate is climbing as the NHS loses more and more contracts. I heard recently that the NHS has lost its contract on the Wirral to a 3rd sector provider, another one gone. We must never forget that competent compassion is about treating everyone with the knowledge that they are all someones son/daughter/wife/husband/dad/mother, and all deserve clinically sound, well governed treatment for their condition. I think that some of these agencies answer to themselves and a local commissioner only, and not to any national standards – This person wishes to remain anonymous.
Well needed always but particularly at moment where opinion and stigma overrule care and quality – Dr Chris Ford
I am being personally affected by this and it is a worrying time. I love the Nhs because it is the foundation for ‘WYSIWYG’ healthcare. Ok it fails and let’s us down now and again, nothing is perfect but it allows professionals to practice medicine with the patients best interests at heart. The philosophy of the Nhs should be treasured, protected, supported and bolstered: not whittled away by private companies whose ultimate aim is profit for themselves and their shareholders and I believe is at the expense of you and I as professionals and patients’.’Very simply, the bottom line is all about costs, not quality. Sadly we, not those politicians in their Ivory towers, will be the ones on the firing line when policies aimed at increasing profits for the third sector companies directly cause harm to patients. Will they care? No they will just make examples of us and put the blame for any failings on our shoulders. We have to start fighting back, we owe it to our patients, we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to our professions. I despair. This is so unnecessary, so pointless and so potentially damaging to our relationships with patients. My philosophy is this. I will NEVER cease caring for those I am privileged to treat and I will ALWAYS put their health and well being way ahead of any policies that serve the ends of a company and their shareholders’. I am really very angry about all of this – This person wishes to remain anonymous.
I believe the ‘target culture’ has led to a less caring service; that is no criticism of front line staff. Workers have caseloads so high they are unsafe; too much paperwork; and, pressure to get service users ‘drug free’. Services have become a political football and something to be ‘done on the cheap’ with frontline staff and service users paying the price – Donna Souter
It’s so often the case that some of the best outcomes are not easily measurable, quantifiable or otherwise ‘boxed off’ -not only in medicine but also in education. As a result these successes -some modest, but nevertheless life-changing-are in danger of becoming discounted. These significant changes are frequently incremental and often highly individual. For these changes to be realised, perceptive, imaginative and committed staff are needed -hence competent compassion. It’s the one to one, responsive approaches that are the most effective – Steph Weber
Very pleased to see such a site as this. There’s lots of information on the net about “tough love” and it’s place in the treatment of problematic substance use. This site starts to redress that balance and remind all of us that warmth and compassion must underpin everything we do when we care for others. Many of the people we care for have been traumatized into drug use because of the lack of compassion and love in their life – Bill Nelles
I once had the pleasure of working with a GP in the substance misuse field that optimized the values you are talking to here. Unsurprisingly he was favored among the clientele, and above all he succeeded where others had not, in maintaining life, providing hope – and offering choice previously this has been hard to see. Its great that this site exists and long may it prosper and hopefully influence and engage others in their own personal and professional growth – Craig Harvey