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In the spotlight - GM Mental Health Trust

In the latest of our series of spotlights on the partners in the Greater Manchester Housing First pilot, we turn our attention to the team at Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust who now have their Dual Diagnosis Practitioners on board, working across all four zones.

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) provides a range of mental health, addiction and dual diagnosis services within Greater Manchester and beyond.

These include homelessness services, community mental health, psychology, offender health and a range of specialist addiction services from drug and alcohol addiction to gambling.

The Dual Diagnosis service within Housing First is delivered by Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH) NHS Foundation Trust. The team comprises four practitioners who work across the four zones within the Housing First model.

Cath (left), Andrea (back centre), Gill Heaton (right), Dave (front centre)

The Dual Diagnosis Practitioner (DDP) Role

The DDPs work with service users and staff to support recovery, engagement and understanding of the complex challenges for people with dual diagnosis needs and those who support them. Their work includes engagement, assessment, and support for service users in order to help people access appropriate pathways to assist them in achieving improved outcomes. In addition to this the team also deliver training and provide reflective practice and support to Housing First staff with a focus on dual diagnosis.

Cath Jeffers: Zone A (Manchester)

Hi, my name is Cath, I am the DDP for Zone A. For the last 17yrs I have been employed by GMMH in a variety of roles, Criminal Justice Team Leader, Recovery Co-ordinator, and Dual Diagnosis Practitioner for inpatient mental health services. I have developed invaluable knowledge of criminal justice legislation, substance misuse and mental health policy, as well has having first-hand experience of working with service users with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues. When considering the holistic care and barriers between services, I feel I champion the two key principles from Public Health England, “everyone’s job” and “no wrong door approach”. I am passionate and committed to ensuring individuals who have co-occurring conditions have access to high standards of care and service provision.

Andrea Cain: Zone B (Bolton, Bury, Rochdale)

Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m the DDP worker in Zone B. Initially I trained as a Counsellor and I worked for almost 10 years in a Criminal Justice Drug Team. During that time I completed a Criminology Degree and my Mental Health Nurse training. I have worked in specialist mental health services for the last 12 years during which period I have also undertaken further training around CBT and research. I have a keen interest in psychological interventions, particularly Motivational Interviewing which has a good evidence base for the client group I work with. I enjoy supporting the Housing First staff group in the delivery of training and supervision. I look forward to seeing the pilot continue to grow.

Dave McCorry: Zone C (Oldham, Tameside, Stockport)

Hi, my name is Dave and I’m the DDP worker for Zone C. I am a 20 years qualified Mental Health nurse; In my early career I worked as both staff and charge nurse in both Addictions and Acute Mental Health wards before moving to the community in 2005. I have worked as a forensic and adult CPN since then as well as a dual diagnosis practitioner and team leader. Working with Housing First has been and will continue to be both a challenge and a learning experience as we get out and meet these hugely challenging clients (alongside the brilliant Housing First support workers), most of whom have fallen between the gaps of services and are difficult to engage and keep engaged in treatment…but I’m up for the challenge!

Gill Heaton: Zone D (Trafford, Salford, Wigan)

Hi, my name is Gill and I’m the DDP worker in Zone D. I have extensive experience of substance misuse and prior to this role I have worked in several services including Blackpool, Preston, Chorley, Leyland, Skelmersdale and lastly Bolton. I have worked in variety of roles including as a Keyworker, Senior Nurse, Detox Nurse, Rehab Gatekeeper and in my last role, a Nurse Prescriber. The work we do is challenging and exciting and every day is different, it is so rewarding and knowing we can make a difference makes it all worthwhile!


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