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Who are we?

We are a group of researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University who are committed to improving health and social care for people who use substances, their families and friends and practitioners who support them.

Below are some headline messages from our research along with a summary report that can be downloaded. Briefings, full final reports and other resources for the projects can be found on subsequent pages on this website:

  1. There is a dearth of research evidence in general and no evidence that identifies effective interventions or models of practise for this group of people.
  2. People with a history of problematic substance use needing end of life care cannot currently be identified directly from existing datasets for audit and care quality purposes. This means we have no current knowledge of the scale of these overlapping issues.
  3. Most of this population will have complex and multiple physical, psychological and social difficulties that negatively impact their identification, engagement and care.
  4. Self-stigma and the anticipation of discrimination from practitioners can stop people from presenting to services or people will present at a very late stage.
  5. Family members’ support needs are often overlooked including a lack of communication from practitioners about their relative’s approaching end of life.
  6. Professionals identified many challenges to working with this group of people, including how to talk about the ‘other’ issue and working with other specialists.
  7. The picture was not completely gloomy! There were examples of individual good practices and organisations that were seeking to actively improve their service provision to support this group of people.

The NIHR project in Liverpool and Sefton / A new Model of Care

In 2019 we started a new project, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This builds on our previous work, with the aim of trying to improve access to palliative care for people using substances and better support for those caring for them. Working with 10 health and social care organisations across Liverpool and Sefton, as well as people who use substances and their family caregivers, we are hoping to provide information and advice that encourages people to focus on the well-being of people who use substances and are becoming increasingly ill. This website is part of that.

Download our report here

Find out

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Find out more

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Frequently asked questions

How can I get help for myself?

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How can I get help for someone I care about?

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How do I know if my/my loved one’s health needs assessing for supportive care?

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Can I get involved in your research?

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