All Together Now - April Edition of Together's Service User Newsletter

all together now!




all together now!

in this edition: In this edition... • • • • • Service Development Update Plug In Devon You said, We Did Phone Gifting Review Community Development Update • • • • • Spotlight on Family Services Harm Reduction Group Support Breaking Free Online Projects Welcome: Welcome to the 3rd edition of the All Together Now newsletter, the newsletter that is your voice and keeps you up to date with what is happening in the Together Community and beyond - enjoy! This edition includes useful and important information on: • An invitation for you to join our mission of building a service that is responsive to your feedback and co-produced with you • How we are keeping safe at Together as we start to ease out of lockdown • An update on service developments • An overview of a great recovery tool that is free to access 24/7 – Breaking Free Online If you would like to make a contribution for the next edition or have ideas on how improve the newsletter, please contact the Community Development Team on togetherallcomdev@edp.org.uk or speak to your EDP/Together contact/Recovery Navigator who can request one of the Community Development Team make contact with you. 1

all together now!

In this edition:

Message from Joni Note from Community Service Manager: With the end of full lockdown in sight, we are looking to increase our face to face work over the next couple of months. We are also looking at some larger interim community venues so that we can see you in a group setting too. We will communicate any updates as and when they take place. Our team are currently looking into a restructure and you may have noticed that we have a Support Worker role being advertised in North Devon. This is an entry level role into Substance Misuse and gives more opportunity to come and work in this field if this is something that you are interested in. Unfortunately we have some waits to enter treatment with us at the moment and we are working hard to be able to reduce the time it takes to be able to access our service. Looking at our figures, we had around 20% of our appointments not attended last month, this is 435 appointments. Due to COVID-19 I imagine it can be more difficult to attend and we are keen to know what we can do to ensure that we are more accessible for you. There are a number of ways in which you can feed into how the service works for you and we would love to hear from you. Please speak to your Recovery Worker or give us a call. There are also Co-Production Action Meetings and Strategy Meetings for you to join – see page 7 for details. Community Service Manager, Together Devon 2

In this edition:

Service Development

In this edition: Update: Covid-19 & Lockdown update: We continue to be guided by government advice and as we have been throughout the past year, all our main hubs remain open for seeing people face to face were necessary. We are very pleased to say that as restrictions are slowly lifted we can also start phasing in a return for more routine face to face appointments, and people visiting our bases for other reasons. As a part of the return, it’s important for everyone to know that each base has been COVID risk assessed with regular and thorough cleaning procedures and PPE in place for staff and visitors. Although attendance numbers will need to be monitored and limited, we will have a booking system in place to optimise attendance as much as possible. Please note that you will be asked to wear a mask and if you don’t have one we are able to provide you with one. We remind you that if you or anyone you have been in close contact with has shown any symptoms of the virus, please do not attend our service, stay at home and follow government guidance around being tested. If you have any questions or would like further information about how we are keeping safe in the hubs, please contact us on 0800 233 54444. We look forward to seeing people and connecting with you in person again. 3

Service Development

Plug In Devon:

https:/ /www.plugindevon.org.uk Since our last newsletter a new online platform for all Devon recovery community has launched! In this edition: The site is manned by Online Connector Volunteers with lived experience and our Online Community Coordinator, Ilaria. The idea behind it all is to bring together Devon community members in recovery and ‘plug in’ with the services that may be wanted and needed in a space that is welcoming, informative and easy to use. The site is still in development so we’d love to hear your feedback about what you’d like to see. Please come and take a look at Plug in Devon and search our growing directory, make use of the crisis support quick links, check out the events section and join our forum to connect with peers in recovery and build a Devon wide online recovery community. We’re about to launch an exciting campaign called ‘The First Step’ - all about taking that first step into recovery. We know it’s scary and unknown and looks different for different people, but we also know that the power of connection with each other is inspiring, motivating and reassuring. Please keep checking the site for shares of personal stories all about taking that crucial ‘first step’. We’d love you to join our campaign – just contact hello@plugindevon.org.uk or call/text 07958 728 672 and we’ll get in touch from there, supporting you all the way. Plug in Devon is a partnership project between the Devon Together Alliance, who are a formal partnership of local organisations committed to system change and investment in Devon communities. Formed/led by EDP Drug and Alcohol Services, the DTA includes Devon Partnership Trust, Devon Communities Together, Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI), CoLab Exeter, BCHA, SAFE, Shekinah and Westbank Community Health. 4

Plug In Devon:

YOU SAID, WE DID:

FOCUS: Prescribing Review involving Service Users and Together Staff: Where has your feedback come from? We asked staff and service users to feedback their experiences of participating within the Together prescribing community. This was to give us and YOU a better understanding of what we could do differently and respond to service user needs. in August and asked you how you felt the service had responded during lockdown. Training: That you would like to see staff receive increased training on psycho-social interventions as well as prescribing interventions Agree Closer working: For service users, prescribers and recovery workers to work more closely together to avoid miss communication and conflicting ideas in prescribing reviews. North and South Devon are already booking 3 way clinics with Exeter, Mid and East committing to doing so within the next 12 weeks. Flexible appointments: A greater flexibility of appointment times at the start of the treatment journey for clients (e.g. Drop in prescribing clinic supported by volunteers/recovery workers). that Teams across Together are to recommence with 3 way strategy reviews i.e. Prescriber, recover worker and service user to be present either face to face or virtually. This will provide a more collaborative treatment package and reduce any misunderstandings. It will also help develop a clearer understanding of what constitutes the commencement or ceasing of the prescribing modality. Agreed to set up a task and finish group to review what our strategic prescribing reviews should look like and make sure they achieve the best outcomes for you. The group will include prescribers, recovery workers, lived experience volunteers and service users. If you’d like to be involved see below for details. Attitude: Some Prescribers have a tendency to be authoritive and don’t always seem to listen. Agree to include prescribing information in the upcoming Service User handbook such as 3 way clinics and how to manage your prescription. Clear communication That in the main you felt that as a service user you were listened to and treatment options were made clear when entering the service. Continue to complete urgent face to face prescribing reviews in line with Covid 19 PPE recommendations. 5

YOU SAID, WE DID:

YOU SAID, WE DID:

FOCUS: Young People and Young People Services: Where has your feedback come from? 50 service users aged between 18 and 24 agreed to participate in a survey ascertaining if there was a need for Together to provide specific services to adults between these ages. We also asked how their experiences had been during their treatment journey with Together. Young people focused groups: A total of 49 service user’s out of the 50 said that specific groups for young adults would be a good resource and that they would attend groups of that nature. Understanding young people: People of same age and people who understand young people was the general response for what was most important. The right help: That contact with Together was helpful citing 1:1 sessions and group work being of most value. Medical interventions: That the prescribing of Methadone was of most benefit while engaging with Together. Long waiting times: That engaging with Together was not as helpful as expected and that waiting times along with too many questions at assessment to be frustrating. 6 We have been working over the past year to design, develop and build a new way of working that better supports the transition into adult services We have, and will continue, to work together with YSMART to support young adults. • We have introduced dedicated Young Adult Recovery Workers who will receive specialist training to support this age group. • We have introduced Young Adult Lead Volunteers across Devon and we have set up a Young Adults Working group to take the developments further. • Examples of developments to come include setting up groups and Flourish cafes for young adults, providing training to university welfare teams, and exploring online options for support. Young adults will receive a range of interventions that vary in intensity and duration according to their unique and changing needs, including those around risk and building resilience.

YOU SAID, WE DID:

Phone gifting review:

During COVID lockdown we were very aware that there was a high risk of service users becoming socially isolated and losing contact with Healthcare services. We identified some funding and were also gifted mobile telephones from Tesco (thank you Tesco!) and subsequently distributed them among Together service users at the highest need so that they could contact friends, family, their GP and Recovery Workers. We then completed a full review of the scheme and here’s just a bit of the feedback: “So so pleased I have never heard of this happening and honestly I am so grateful I’ve been doing exceptionally well I could not believe it” “Really good made feel thought of by the service” “I can now go online it is great” “Really good because it was the only form of communication I had” “I only used it once and that was to call an ambulance for a friend who had gone over.” A total of 84 phones were gifted to service users across the Devon Together service. The overall response was that it was a great help during this difficult time and any initial reservations about diversion of phones were unfounded and the project overall is seen as a great success. The majority of those in receipt of a phone stated that it was used to contact relatives or healthcare services. We are hoping to look at funding opportunities to improve access to online and digital platforms for all service users. 7

Phone gifting review:

Community Development

Updates: At Together in Devon, and more widely at EDP, we want to build a service that genuinely responds to the needs and wants of our community members looking to make changes to their substance use. This means we need you to be involved! We have lots of different ways for you to get involved including attending our Co-Production Meetings. Co-Production meetings are open to all interested parties to attend - Service Users, staff, Volunteers, Peer Mentors and Partnership Agencies. Using the feedback that comes from these meetings will agree on actions to address any issues or suggested developments. - On the 1st Monday of each month from 1:30pm-3pm we host the ‘Action Meeting’, this is a space that looks at local feedback in Devon and agrees actions to make changes and develop the Together service. - On the 3rd Monday of each month from 11am-12:30pm we host the ‘Strategy Meeting’, this is a space to take a collaborative approach to in-depth decisions within EDP as a whole. Examples include how we involve the voice of lived experience in our recruitment processes, in staff inductions and training and how we communicate with each other more effectively. We asked service users attending who are participating in Co-Production Meetings to give us their thoughts and experiences of Co-Production. In the main “You Said” it was felt that having the opportunity to speak out and help improve the EDP/Together Service via Co Production from “those on the ground like service users and workers” is a very welcome development that “feels inclusive and empowering”. You expressed anxieties around hoping to receive feedback on what happens to your input and that your views are taken seriously as in the past Service Users views have been asked about their opinions on the service and freely gave their views but never heard anything back. As a way of addressing these concerns all minutes taken at the Co-Production meetings will be available to Service Users, their carers and families along with partnership agencies. Meetings will be held monthly and we will publish “You Said, We Did” summaries. Ivi, a new 2021 Together Volunteer with lived experience and presently a Mental Health Practioner, attends the Co-production meetings as part of his Volunteering Role and commented “I wish we had something like this in our service it really feels like this service is taking co-production seriously and that voices are heard. I would like to continue with being involved in this exciting and well needed venture”. 8

Community Development

The next meeting dates are:

Co-Production Action Meeting 1:30pm – 3pm: • 10th May (moved back a week due to May Bank Holiday) • 7th June. Meetings currently via Zoom using the meeting ID: 986 4128 2510 Co-Production Strategy Meeting 11am-12:30pm: • 19th April • 17th May • 21st June. Meetings currently via Zoom using the meeting ID: 912 0884 3204 All are welcome and we at Together would love to see you there! Speak to your recovery worker, message us on Facebook or email togetherallcomdev@edp.org.uk or daveparks@together-devon.org.uk What have we been up to?... Spotlight on... Family Services Activity packs for Families: Funding through Active Devon and Sports England to create ‘Activity Packs’ for families were donated at the beginning of lockdown in 2020. Almost 50 boxes of fun activities such as a kites, fishing nets, bats, balls, bubbles, bird watching and hedgerow wildlife sheets have been made up and are being delivered as we speak by our Family Leads. Well done Family Leads - another success story! 9

The next meeting dates are:



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