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ReCord: ReGen's July 2014 eUpdate.
This issue: Updates on the recommissioning of the Victorian AOD treatment services, strategic plan 2014-2017, mother and baby withdrawal funding, consumer participation, advocacy updates, and other news.
UnitingCare ReGen
Drug Action Week 2013

Welcome to the ReCord - ReGen's regular eUpdate

The recently announced outcomes of the first stage of recommissioning of Victorian alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment services aims to mark a major improvement in the accessibility and consistency of treatment for people across the state. ReGen, together with Odyssey House Victoria (and our other service partners), will now be the largest provider of treatment and support services across the North and West metropolitan region. We will also be working in the Grampians catchment, in partnership with UnitingCare Ballarat and Wimmera UnitingCare. Check out our media release.

This is a terrific outcome for ReGen and (we hope) for the people who will be using our new services once they commence on September 1st.

ReGen would also like to congratulate the other successful services and looks forward to working with all of them to provide seamless services both in the catchments that we are in and across Victoria.

This ReCord includes: Updates on our service delivery, including increasing service accessibility, our strategic plan 2014-2017, funding for mother and baby withdrawal, consumer participation and advocacy updates, along with a (brief) round up of the latest thinking in AOD from Australia and overseas.

 

Laurence Alvis
CEO – UnitingCare ReGen

 

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Update on our services

Preparing our new services
The new AOD system and services is due to commence from September 1. As far as possible we will be endeavouring to ensure there are no gaps for people who use AOD services.  Until August 31, 2014, all contacts for both the Inner North and Northern catchments should be made through our Coburg office (which will be our Inner North hub), after which the Northern hub in Thomastown will be open.
 
As part of the preparation for our new services, ReGen is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Catchment Managers. Venetia Brissenden will be our Catchment Manager for the Inner North Melbourne AOD services, whilst Trevor King will be Catchment Manager for the North Melbourne AOD services. Venetia and Trevor will report to Donna Ribton-Turner, Director of Clinical Services. Our strategic partners, Odyssey House Victoria, have also confirmed Miranda Manning as the Catchment Manager for South West AOD services, whilst Peter Matthews will be the Catchment Manager for the North West AOD services. Miranda and Peter will report to Neos Zavrou, Executive Manager - Community Services.  ReGen and Odyssey House will be employing a number of new staff over the next month to ensure that we will be able to hit the ground running when the new service system commences on 1st September.

Launch of 2014 - 2017 Strategic Plan
The 30th June saw ReGen launch its strategic plan for the next three financial years. The plan is the product of a nine month consultation process that included meetings with staff representatives, focus groups with our consumers and their families, as well as input from ReGen’s board, partner services and funders. We think the new plan is clear, ambitious and achievable. Check out our media release.

Mother and baby withdrawal funding
In other very welcome news, we were delighted that the Victorian Government has agreed to invest over $4million to establish a new ‘Mother and Baby’ withdrawal service at Curran Place (our adult residential withdrawal service).  We have been advocating for this initiative for several years and it represents a significant step forward in making treatment services more accessible for women with young children.
 
Methamphetamine treatment
As part of our effort to support the development of evidence based methamphetamine treatment models, we recently released an interim report on the implementation of our ‘Step up/Step down’ model for methamphetamine withdrawal.  The report summarises current research, our experience to date in implementing the new model and recommendations for reducing methamphetamine related harms at an individual, family and community level.
 
Increasing service accessibility through videoconferencing
Since we first decided to overhaul our old website in 2004, we’ve been working to develop online approaches to education, service delivery and advocacy.  In recent years, remote videoconferencing has played a key role in reducing potential access barriers for people in rural areas. The next step has been using it to increase the accessibility of all our services, with our staff now using it for counselling sessions, virtual ‘home visits’ and supporting consumers to attend case conference meetings. 

Videoconferencing will be a key part of our clinical model for the delivery and co-ordination of our new (recommissioned) services across a wide geographic area.  As well as increasing service accessibility, it will enable staff across multiple sites (and partner agencies) to participate in our daily Clinical Review processes and other key meetings.

Providing culturally welcoming services
We understand the importance of people feeling safe and welcome when they participate in our services.  As part of our ongoing work to provide culturally safe environments at our various services, we are in the process of developing an Aboriginal garden at Curran Place, our adult residential withdrawal service.  We were also recently invited to meet some Aboriginal artists in Echuca, whose artwork is now featured at Curran Place.
 
Forgetting our birthday
And while we’re on the topic of small, but important, bits of information... we’ve been so busy lately that no-one at ReGen had remembered it was the agency’s 44th birthday on May 2nd. If it hadn’t been for our Facebook and LinkedIn followers, it would have passed us by altogether. Thanks to everyone for their good wishes (check our Facebook page post on the day to see the amazing responses from some of our consumers).

Conferences
We presented our experience in using online approaches to improve AOD treatment, consumer participation and public advocacy at the ATDC conference in Hobart.  All conference presentations are now available via the ATDC website.


 
Find more news on our programs
Working together
Consumer Participation

The July edition of ReSpect (our Consumer Participation update) is out now. It highlights the variety of opportunities our consumers have to contribute their experience to our ongoing efforts to improve our services and keep them accountable.  It also provides information on two different opportunities for free training and a link to a new service user website.
 
Please subscribe for future editions of ReSpect.

 
Read more on Consumer Participation
Drug Action Week
Advocacy in action

We’ve been able to contribute to public discussion of methamphetamine use and treatment through a couple of interviews with ABC 774’s Drive program.  For more details about this and other recent coverage, see our website.
 
In response to the immediate risks to people who inject opioids posed by the reformulation of Oxycontin, we developed a quick harm reduction pamphlet to help get potentially lifesaving information out to the people who need it.  DrugScope helped us reach an international audience by including it in their daily update.  Thanks to our friends at AIVL, WASUA and Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre for sharing their information with us.  We’re in the process of updating the initial flyer, based on feedback from our consumers.  The new flyer will be available soon via our website and social media accounts.

The Age newspaper also published a letter to the editor from ReGen in response to the newspaper's coverage of Frankston Council's concerns regarding pharmacotherapy locations.

 
See more of our advocacy work
Working with us

ReGen is a great place to work.

Keep an eye on our employment page for upcoming vacancies in the new year or more detail on working conditions at ReGen. We’ll also be notifying our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn followers of new positions.

 
Find out more about working at ReGen
Interesting links from Australia and around the world

The following are a selection of links to recent AOD research and media coverage we have curated on our Scoop.it page:
View our collection of recent media articles

Over to you

You can support our work by donating, supporting our advocacy on social media, or doing your own. Our position papers and supporting evidence can be a useful resource if you’re looking into a key AOD issue such as Harm Reduction or Recovery Oriented Practice.

Please let us know what you think about the 'ReCord' and feel free to forward this to anyone you think might be interested.

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