People in Wakefield are set to benefit from a unique new appointment made by the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust.

Sean McDaid, currently a clinical manager at Fieldhead, has been appointed as a ‘Nurse Consultant – Dual Diagnosis’, this means he will be working to help people who have a diagnosis of both mental illness and substance misuse, which can cause complications from diagnosis through to treatment. Sean is now one of only seven people in the country in this specialist role and he takes up on January 20 2003. Sean will be based for some of his time at Fieldhead and the rest within the new Integrated Substance Misuse Service.

Nurse consultants were introduced as a Government initiative to allow highly skilled nurses to continue to treat and care for patients, enabling people with expertise to stay at the front line rather than moving into management. Nurse consultants will spend at least 50% of their time in direct patient care, with their remaining work focussing on relevant research, education, consultancy and development of services.

Traditionally, mental health services and substance misuse services have been set up as very separately but in recent years it has been recognised that linking these two important services will benefit the vulnerable group of people who have been given a dual diagnosis. Sean will be part of a new integrated substance misuse service, one of the first of its kind in the country. This unique service will be able to look at the wider population’s needs, including people with mental health problems. Each client will be looked at individually and what he or she needs from the service will be assessed. This new type of service fits in with Department of Health guidance ‘Dual Diagnosis Good Practice Guide’ and ‘Models of Care’ a national service framework for drug and alcohol services.

Speaking about his new role, Sean said, ‘This is an innovative position which allows me a strong degree of autonomy and clinical credibility. This will give me the chance to take the dual diagnosis clinical area forward, allowing practise to be developed in pioneering and original ways. People with a dual diagnosis are a challenging and very vulnerable group and my new role is part of a multi-disciplinary approach to the provision of effective care and treatment’.


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