Legionnaires’ disease alert for Sydney CBD. NSW Health

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Supporting GPs in providing care to patients with alcohol and other drug problems

The GP Liaison in Alcohol and other Drugs (GLAD) project provides support, advice and assistance from the Local Health District Drug and Alcohol Service to General Practitioners (GPs) to provide care to patients with alcohol and other drug problems. This may include both illicit drugs and prescribed medications.

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) Drug and Alcohol Service has actively worked with GPs for the past decade. One of the major achievements includes providing special skills training opportunities for GP trainees. Currently, SESLHD Drug and Alcohol Service employs three FRACGPs who are also addiction medicine specialists. This has attracted GPs aspiring to specialise further in addiction medicine as trainees. With a growing representation in the medical workforce, SESLHD Drug and Alcohol Service has enhanced its ability to collaborate with GPs.

The Local Health District is currently in the process of recruiting to the GLAD Community Liaison Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) position, which will work across the district to assist and support GPs in providing care to this patient population. As part of this process, the current model of care for the GLAD position in SESLHD is being reviewed to ensure that the needs of General Practitioners, their patients, and other community-based services are addressed in the best possible way.

The Community Liaison CNC will be available to provide telephone advice, assistance via teleconference, as well as in-person support at the GP practice, to facilitate comprehensive, collaborative and integrated care. This will include; assisting GPs with assessment of alcohol and other drug problems, determining appropriate treatment options, providing treatment e.g. withdrawal management, prescribing opioid agonist treatment etc., referral to specialist services e.g. Prescription Opioid Pain Clinic, and accessing resources and information for themselves or to provide to patients and/or their carers.

In order to provide the best possible service, we are requesting any suggestions from GPs, Practice Managers, Nurses etc. in the primary care setting, about what they would find most beneficial in supporting them to provide care to this patient population. Comments can be made via email; sandra.sunjic@health.nsw.gov.au or telephone – 9332 8777.

We look forward to receiving your feedback and working with you in the future.