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Dual Diagnosis Policy

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This Policy describes how South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust ‘The Trust’ provides effective, responsive and integrated clinical services for individuals with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and/or learning disability and those in the care of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Substance misuse. It relates to service users in both inpatient and community settings.

The Trust recognises that the management of dual diagnosis is everyone’s business. We also recognises that rather than seeing people with dual diagnosis as having two main problems, it is important to acknowledge that they have complex needs including physical health, social issues, e.g. housing, relationship and family problems, risk of suicide, victimisation and violence.

This policy document will ensure that people with dual diagnosis are not excluded from both mental health services and substance misuse services. Individuals with complex problems are at risk of falling between services.

The national policy position identifies that the primary responsibility for the treatment of individuals with severe mental illness and problematic substance misuse should lie with mental health services. This approach is referred at as “mainstreaming” and aims to lessen the likelihood of people being “shunted” between services or losing contact completely. The rationale for this is that mental health services are better placed to offer services such as assertive outreach, crisis management and long term care than substance misuse services. In addition, it is expected substance misuse services should help mental health services in this endeavour.


Link to the full Policy:

Dual Diagnosis Policy


Link to the Equalities Impact Analysis:

Dual Diagnosis Policy EIA