waikato-dhb.gifUpskilling and Educating our Workforce

Here in the Waikato we value our workforce and the work they do within limited resource.   This year a lot of time has gone into upskilling our health workforce, with a variety of education projects taking place.  A special focus on using the expertise within our own Mental Health and Addiction workforce and knowledge sharing in a supportive environment was positively received.

Our Charge Nurse Manager for CADS, Velda Raybone-Jones, along with the support of CADS CNS, Simmi Parmar, MH CNS s Mandy Shanley and Fergal Cantwell put together a timetable of education, one hour per week.  The topics were chosen from clinician requests, audit projects, our strategic vision, topical and best practice guidelines.  The weekly sessions took place 1pm – 2pm and staff could bring along their lunch.  Our rural teams in Thames and Te Awamutu could also participate by video conference.  Topics included Hepatitis C & HIV, What you need to know about SACAT, Mental Health Risk Assessment, The role of the AOD Clinician, Lifestyle Balance / Te Whare Tapa Wha Model, Anti-psychotic medication, Young People and Mental Illness, Suicide Prevention and Post-Vention,   Posters advertise up and coming topics as well as updates in the local newsletter.  The CADS clinicians in particular, have been enthused in attending the sessions and positive feedback has been received so far.  An end of year review will seek comment for next year.

A two day Addiction focused training for none CADS clinicians who wish to upskill and gain knowledge that they can use in their work, takes place several times a year.  The days are organised by CADS Nurse Practitioner, Louise Leonard and sessions are supported by the following CADS staff: Simmi Parmar CNS, Kristina Pedersen Consult Liaison Nurse, Dr Paul Therly Psychologist and Vera Mihajlovic AOD Clinician.

WDHB Upskill

Health Professionals attending the 2 day Alcohol & Other Drug
education sessions put on by CADS staff.

There is always an overwhelming response to the 2 day training which fills up quickly, with staff from Mental Health Services and the general hospital setting.  Feedback from attendees is always positive and some go on to have a closer working relationship with CADS.   One example of this is an Registered Nurse working on an acute mental health ward wanted to learn more about addictions and now attends CADS in her own time upskilling in areas such as comprehensive assessments, opioid substitution therapy and co-existing problems.  As well as the educational component of such interaction the opportunity also builds relationships between CADS clinicians and other departments.  With an increasing number of multi-morbidity presentations CADS staff have also requested to upskill in the area of mental health.  Working in collaboration with our mental health colleagues, staff has had the opportunity to spend time in other areas, such as the Psychiatry Consult Liaison Team, Inpatient Unit and Community Mental Health Team.  Such opportunities reflect our DHB values, Stronger Together Kotahitanga and Growing the Good Whakapakari.  Such opportunities could not take place without strong collaborative connections between CADS and other health care departments.

Student learning

Reflecting all our DHB values, in the last 12 months CADS has actively promoted our workplace as a learning environment to encourage health professionals to consider a career in addiction services.  CADS offer placements to medical interns, medical observers, nurse practitioner interns, nursing students, social work students and from 2019 counselling students.  We know that people with addiction issues can present to any area of health from primary care, to the emergency department or maternity services to orthopedics, so promoting learning in the field is never squandered.  This work reflects the enthusiasm, passion and commitment that clinicians from Hamilton CADS have for their work and for the people whose recovery journey they are privileged to be part of.

Engagement with Our Community

We have long understood that addictions can affect many areas of our life and engagement is vital in supporting individuals and their families.  However, we have noted that often different organisations that come across addiction issues often are stuck in their understanding of addictions and/or unsure where to seek help.  Our communities recognise that our people come with complex needs and that we are required to interact with multi-agencies/ organisations.   Clinicians have liaised with the wider community whether this be health or other government agencies to provide links and supporting these individual services with the specific needs related to addictions, for example – being involved in the Health Hub at the National Field days to supporting a teaching session with Housing New Zealand.  CADS Hamilton is working on embodying our DHB values that we are stronger together and keeping people at heart.

Engagement with primary care is important for individual’s recovery, especially around opioid substitution treatment (OST).  Jarman Singh, GP Shared Care clinician along with Dr Adam Stevens are building relationships with primary care by visiting and educating GPs and practice nurses around OST.  Jarman has been working hard on a project to increase our consumer numbers receiving OST in primary care, as well as being a conduit between primary and secondary services.

With the introduction of the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act known as SACAT this year, engagement with agencies such as Supporting Families has also been vital.  Richard Jeffcoat (CADS Authorised Officer) and Renee Bell (CADS Triage Clinician) met with the local Support Families (SF) workers to provide some informal education about SACAT and what role they can play in assisting families who seek advice.  The outcome of this session is a closer working relationship between the Authorised Officers and SF.  If SF have family members who they are working with, and enquire about SACAT then the AO will meet the family with the SF worker and provide guidance. The session was well received and builds another important link with one of our community partners.

WDHB Upskill1

 Jarman Singh (GP Shared Care AOD Clinician) and Richard Jeffcoat
(R/N, Authorised Officer and Duly Authorised Officer).