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The challenges of developing dual diagnosis capabilities for acute inpatient staff

Hughes, E.; Robertson, N.; Kipping, C.; Lynch, C.


E. Hughes

N. Robertson

C. Kipping

C. Lynch


Dual diagnosis poses particular challenges for inpatient mental health services. Workers have low levels of training, clinical experience and support to deliver integrated care that combines mental health and substance use interventions. In addition, inpatient workers have to balance being therapeutic with ensuring that illicit substance use does not occur on the wards. This often leads to confrontation and poor engagement.In order to improve the capabilities of the workers to deliver more effective interventions for this group of service users, dual diagnosis training should be a high priority for acute inpatient services. However, there are a number of challenges in the implementation of this including lack of resources to fund training and specialist roles, lack of time to attend training (and supervision), and lack of time to implement learning in routine care.This paper will describe the policy drivers for the improvement of dual diagnosis care in acute psychiatric inpatient services, and how two initiatives in London are overcoming some of the obstacles and showing some promising initial outcomes. This paper will make recommendations for future research and developments.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2007
Deposit Date Sep 24, 2021
Journal The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Print ISSN 1755-6228
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 2
Pages 36-42
Public URL

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