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Issue 3 October 2002
A national newsletter on substance misuse management in primary care
The Future of the RCGP
Certificate and GP Training
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Certificate for GPs with a special clinical interest has entered its second
year, funded by the Department of Health and specifically endorsed by David Blunkett, the Home Secretary. The first year
was very successful and certificates will be awarded to nearly 400 GPs, mentors and prison doctors on 9th October. Some
candidates have had extensions prior to assessment. Wales joined last year and was due to finish the course by the end of
September. Next year the Certificate is being opened
out to other professional groups, including primary When does the new course begin? The new course begins in November
care nurses, pharmacists (for whom accreditation is
with 3 Regional Master Classes (the old Pre-master Class), Training Day 1:
expected by their college), and general psychiatrists.
Monday 11th November Savoy Place, London; Wednesday 13th November
Wills Hall, University of Bristol; Monday 2nd December Hanover Hotel,
A significant cadre of GPs with a special clinical
Warrington. The Training the Mentors day is on Monday 4th November at
interest is now developing. This is starting to be felt
the RCGP.
at a local level as GPs take a greater clinical and
How many people are doing the next course? 300 will be doing the
strategic lead in drug dependency treatment. Dr
course this autumn. 150 GPs are now fully booked with a further 100 still
Clare Gerada the Chair of the RCGP Expert Advisory on a waiting list. 50 nurses are fully booked with a further 50 on a waiting
Group and programme director said, “We are seeing
list. 50 pharmacists are recruited and hopefully 50 adult psychiatrists will
a fundamental change in the delivery of drug services,
be. The Prison Health Policy Unit is also funding further places for prison
with primary care taking a significant role.” The
doctors and nurses.
successful format of the previous year will be retained
Can people still register and will the course be run again? The
with a few adjustments and the first master classes
centrally funded places are full for the practitioner groups but it is possible
to purchase places if local funding is available. People’s names will still be
are due to start in November. All course attendees
put on a waiting list in case further central funding is obtained to run the
will automatically receive this newsletter.
course again next year. However the Department of Health indicated that
further funding was extremely unlikely and that local funding would most
likely be needed. However, things can change and waiting lists will certainly
help argue the case. WATCH THIS SPACE AND APPLY.
When does the Diploma course start and is there a waiting list? The
IN THIS ISSUE two short-listed bids are now working together on a joint bid. No contract
Starting methadone safely 2
has yet been awarded so the diploma will not be piloted until autumn 2003.
People will be able to register their interest at the RCGP.
Binge drinking – risky behaviour? 3
What about generalists? This is a question that needs asking. One-off
RCGP Certificate - view from a GP candidate and
money was given 18 months ago for this and it has been spent differently
a mentor 4
in different areas. This has now come to an end except for London, the
What’s the crack? Crack guidance and
Southeast and North Cumbria where programmes are ongoing. There needs
crack training for primary care 5
to be more sustained and co-ordinated effort to keep generalist training
available to GPs who want to treat drug dependency without developing a
Classics revisited – Motivational interviewing,
special clinical interest. These after all represent the vast majority
preparing people for change 6
of GPs treating drug dependency. There are good
Paper review - buprenorphine, alcohol, methadone examples from Scotland where the main focus has been on
maintenance, and residential & day treatment relapse 6
generalist training. The Scottish Shared Care Network has
Dr Fixit on blood borne viruses, screening and
been working with the Scottish Executive and the new
vaccination for injecting drug users 7
Scottish Drugs Training for Alcohol and Drugs
(STRADA) to produce a template for generalist
See views
Dr Fixit on driving and methadone 7
from a
training in Scotland. The Scottish Network is
Hot Topic – Hepatitis C Strategy for England 8
awaiting the Executive’s response to a joint
and mentor
Network/STRADA proposal on taking on page 4
Bulletin board – conferences, publications and
generalist training forward.
information 8 Contact Mike Murnane at the RCGP tel: 0207 581 3232
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