What is a dual diagnosis?

Having a 'dual diagnosis' means that someone who has mental health problems also has problems with one or more drugs, including alcohol.

The dual diagnosis service

Throughout the trust there are specalist dual diagnosis practitioners working in the different areas. These are:

  • Service manager - dual diagnosis (Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland)
  • Advanced practitioner - dual diagnosis (Addictive behaviours service Stockton)
  • Advanced practitioner - dual diagnosis (Durham and Darlington)
  • Dual diagnosis nurse (Hartlepool)
  • Dual diagnosis nurse (Scarborough).

What is a dual diagnosis practitioner?

Dual diagnosis practitioners give clinical support within their own localities, mainly supporting the dual diagnosis leads by providing specialised clinical support for staff and help for these complex clients.

Depending on the locality the dual diagnosis practitioner can provide a clinical role that includes:

  • Undertaking an assessment of complex dual diagnosis need at the request of dual diagnosis leads
  • Recommending care and interventions for clients
  • Providing time limited interventions for clients as appropriate and co-working with staff to assist them in addressing complex needs
  • Providing support, leadership and supervision to dual diagnosis leads and other key staff within their locality regarding dual diagnosis
  • Providing information and advice regarding strategies, guidance and policies relevant to dual diagnosis
  • Networking with and supporting other dual diagnosis practitioners
  • Contributing to strategy implementation and service development
  • Contributing to staff development by providing information, training and development opportunities within their own locality.

The specialist practitioner in each locality provides strategic leadership and specialised knowledge.

Who is the service for?

The dual diagnosis (substance misuse) service is for all service users of the trust who have mental heath problems and also have problems with one or more drugs, including alcohol.

How to access the service

When a client with complex, high risk, dual diagnosis needs is identified a referral for specialist advice and support is sent to one of the specialist dual diagnosis practitioners by either the care coordinator or the dual diagnosis lead for the team.

Service users will usually be introduced to the specialist practitioner by the care coordinator and the assessment will take place over several sessions, depending on the nature and complexity of the presenting needs of the service user. The service user can expect a thorough assessment of their dual diagnosis needs, including their motivation, aims and goals, with advice and support.