Solihull Integrated Addiction Service (SIAS) is a multi-disciplinary partnership of organisations working together to support the needs of people with addiction concerns and their significant others. Its services range from supporting with drug use, problematic alcohol consumption and gambling issues to offering specialist services for families and young people.
Photo caption: Staff from SIAS with (left) Anne Hastings, Chief Executive of Age UK Solihull
The service adopts a holistic approach that supports the whole individual and not just their addiction needs. SIAS aims to achieve positive change by building confidence, celebrating personal successes and inspiring hope by sharing the experiences of peer mentors.
SIAS Service Manager Kate McLeod explains, “In 2016 we identified a number of clients with a history of alcohol or drug issues who regularly called ambulances and were admitted to hospital. The FAST project was set up to actively and assertively engage 10 'treatment resistant drinkers' in treatment. We planned to reduce reliance on hospital staff and provide more appropriate support within the community.”
The programme involves various organisations working together and sharing information in order to build clear profiles of individuals and identify opportunities for engagement. Agencies can include police, community mental health services, GPs and housing associations.
There have been a number of successes and the results were almost instantaneous, with ambulance callouts from these clients falling from 92 in February 2016 to just three in April.
One man was known to attend a hospital within the West Midlands at least once a day. Working with the RAID alcohol team and the ambulance service the SIAS team were able to identify when and where he would attend and ensure someone was able to see him. They worked with him and established a multi-disciplinary team to not only address his drinking but his other issues with including homelessness. He is now engaged in his treatment, settled in and managing his accommodation, registered with a local GP, accessing his benefits and has not called an ambulance since August 2016.
Formed in 2008, SIAS provides a range of services including early intervention and prevention, education, tailor-made treatment packages, family engagement, recovery support and reintegration into the community, volunteering opportunities and day care programmes.
Kate acknowledges that numerous agencies work together to make a difference for Solihull residents who need support with addiction. “I was of course already very proud of our service, but winning this award has helped to raise our profile. The team works hard with other agencies every day to help the people of Solihull so it feels great to have our efforts recognise